Public transit fares in Greater Montreal to increase on July 1

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Fare increases for transit riders in Quebec are coming on July 1.

The average hike is two per cent in Greater Montreal, well below the rate of inflation.  But for occasional and single-use riders in the South Shore or Laval, the increases are much steeper.

A metro pass for a single ride from Laval or Longueuil to Montreal will increase to $5.25 from the current $3.50, a fifty per cent increase.

”I just think it’s absurd,” Marie Magistry told Global News.

The South Shore resident rides the metro from Longueuil to Montreal on occasion and says the increase is too steep.

”I’m going to take my car since it’s going to cost the same thing to go to Montreal with my car than to take the public transport,” she said.

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There are savings if users buy monthly passes or booklets of tickets but that’s not good enough to satisfy the many single users according to Magistry.

More than 4,000 people have signed a petition asking the Autorité régionale de transport métropolitain (ARTM) to freeze the rates.

Magistry plans to eventually submit her online petition to the ARTM.

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”Is a lot of money and will make people just decide to go there by car and that’s what’s worrying us,” Axel Fournier, a public transit advocate for the South Shore organization, Association pour le transport collectif de la Rive-Sud, told Global News.

As well, a monthly pass for a commuter train rider from Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue and then transferring to the bus or metro in Montreal will pay less than someone living in Longueuil using similar modes of transportation.

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”It’s complete nonsense that transit fees are higher in Longueuil close to a metro station than they are in Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue,” Fournier said.

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But a spokesperson for the ARTM told Global News the new transit system is reducing the fares zones to three from the current eight and many people will be saving money — especially the monthly users.

Simon Charbonneau reminds the public the average increase for most mass transit users will be two per cent, a lot less than the rate of inflation.

”There is a slight increase,” Charbonneau said.

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