Free admission to some metro stations on weekends, which was announced last summer to attract more visitors to the city center, will not be back this year, confirms the Plante administration, which paid 2.3 million for this exceptional measure.
In a statement sent to the media, the office of the mayor of Montreal indeed indicated Thursday that “the renewal of the free metro from the city center on weekends and certain holidays is not planned this summer” .
To justify itself, the City affirms that “the context has changed a lot since last summer, when we were in a post-pandemic situation where the traffic in the city center had greatly slowed down”.
“Today we can rejoice to see Sainte-Catherine Street once again crowded, a large part of the city center regaining its usual dynamism and the metro traffic returning more quickly to normal on weekends” , supports the press attaché, Marikym Gaudreault.
She says that Montreal will now focus “on more structural and inclusive incentives such as free public transit for seniors, which will come into effect on July 1.” The measure will cost around 40 million annually, but since it does not come into effect until mid-2023, the City will pay 24 million for the first year.
In mid-April, Mayor Valérie Plante had also said she hoped that other cities or governments would take inspiration from Montreal to offer free public transit to seniors, speaking of a measure “which will pay off in the long run. term and even in the medium term.
At the executive committee on Wednesday, the City also adopted the payment to the Regional Metropolitan Transport Authority (ARTM) “of an additional contribution” of 2.3 million for the free pilot project held last summer. The platforms of Saint-Laurent, Place-des-Arts, McGill, Peel, Champ-de-Mars, Place-d’Armes and Berri-UQAM stations were thus open to everyone, without tickets, on weekends. summer.
Since July 2021, children aged 11 and under can already take the metro for free in the metropolis. To be able to take the metro or the bus, they must nevertheless be accompanied by a person aged 14 and over.