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Montrealers 65 and over to get free public transit starting in July 2023

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Montrealers 65 and older to ride free on public transit starting in July
WATCH: Public transit is about to get much more affordable for senior citizens in Montreal. Starting on July 1st, Montreal's bus and metro service will be free for the 65 plus crowd. The measure will be unveiled in next week’s municipal budget. As Global's Olivia O'Malley reports, while some advocates applaud the decision, many say the age should be lowered.

Public transit is about to get much more affordable for seniors. Starting July 1, Montreal’s bus and metro will be free for the 65-plus crowd.

“It’s great because I can always use a little more, I’ll find something to spend it on,” Peter Dowie told Global News.

The 90-year-old says if he goes anywhere, he uses the bus and metro.

Projet Montréal is following through on its election promise.

Read more: Record number of Quebec children home sick from school

The new measure is part of the 2023 municipal budget that will be unveiled next Tuesday. It will cost the city $40 million a year and just over half that for the first year of its inception.

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“It’s a measure we’re glad to announce, because with the pandemic, it was hard. A lot of seniors didn’t get around so much. And with the inflation seniors have, they have fixed income and their expenses are increasing,” said STM Board of Directors Chair, Eric Alan Caldwell.

Leslie Richardson works with low-income seniors every day at the Eva Marsden Centre. She says cutting public transit costs is a fabulous initiative.

“I had one woman recently who’s asking for a ride to the grocery store because it costs her $7 there and back to do her grocery shopping. So, yes, I think it’ll be a huge saving,” said Richardson.

Read more: Dramatic video shows car striking baby stroller at Montreal intersection

Seniors will save $339 a year, according to Richardson. She would, however, like to see its eligibility expanded.

“Many organizations already consider 55 senior, including movie theatres and pharmacies. So why not the public transport?”

Regardless, she says the free service can get seniors out of isolation and put more money in their pockets to use how they want.

“Maybe we’ll be able to buy a little dessert now,” one senior told Global News.

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