STM and City of Montreal partner to launch free public transit for seniors

Posted: 21 April 2023 | | No comments yet

From July 2023, Montreal residents over the age of 65 will be able to benefit from free public transit fares, as part of a new initiative launched by the City of Montreal and STM in order to meet their mobility needs.

STM and City of Montreal partner to launch free public transit for seniors

Credit: Société de transport de Montréal

The City of Montreal and the Société de transport de Montréal (STM) have announced that they have launched a new initiative aimed at helping seniors fight inflation and improving their quality of life. As of 19 April 2023, residents aged 65 and over in the agglomeration of Montreal are invited to load their OPUS cards with a Free 65+ All Modes A transit fare.

The fare, which will become valid on 1 July 2023, 2023, will allow seniors to travel for free within Zone A (the Island of Montreal), including bus, métro, paratransit, commuter train and the REM, once it is in service.

The initiative had been adopted by the City of Montreal in its 2022-2023 budget and aims to make it easier for seniors to get around, break their isolation and encourage them to stay in the city.

Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante said: “Seniors have helped build Montreal and their contribution is still immense today. Free public transit will allow them to continue to participate fully in Montreal life, while creating an additional incentive to use public transit.”

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Éric Alan Caldwell, Chair of the STM Board of Directors, said: “This incentive will encourage more people to take public transit and could also boost customer traffic without necessarily increasing the load during peak periods. Seniors play a vital role in not only their neighbourhood life but throughout the city. We must meet their mobility needs, allowing them to take full part in all that the city has to offer.”

Customers can load the Free 65+ fare onto their OPUS cards at any metro station in Montreal, any metropolitan ticket office in Zone A or the Fairview Pointe-Claire STM terminus. The fare is valid for 24 months, depending on the OPUS card expiry date. Paratransit customers do not need to do anything for their paratransit trips. When they book a trip in Zone A, the information in their customer file (age and place of residence) will be used to validate their eligibility for the free fare.

In addition, a communications campaign will be deployed in the agglomeration of Montreal to support customers and help them understand how the free fare works. The campaign will utilise a combination of media, including signage posted in the metro network and bus shelters, to better reach residents of the agglomeration of Montreal aged 65 and over.