MONTREAL -- For those who purchase yearly transit passes and cannot use public transport during the COVID-19 public health crisis, public-transit companies in the Montreal region are allowing subscription suspensions without penalty.

Payments made in March for April OPUS passes will be applied once the state of emergency is lifted, and those made in April for May will be suspended, the Autorité régionale de transport métropolitain (ARTM) said in a news release Wednesday.

The solution, the ARTM said, will avoid long waits on the phone with customer service.

Those who have already suspended their passes and want to use public transit will need to buy a ticket.

The various transport companies will contact subscribers via email to direct them to the website where they can make the request to suspend their subscription.

“Until this communication is made, it is strongly recommended not to communicate with customer services on this matter,” reads the release.

Those who wish to cancel their subscriptions can do so before Apr. 10 online.