Montreal Mayor Valerie Plante has set an ambitious goal to get one third of commuters using public transit by 2031.

That target may be difficult to reach considering a report released this week by the Montreal Metropolitan Community showing that the number of commuters who use public transit has been stagnant for the past 15 years.

Usage has increased only slightly overall and even decreased in many part of Greater Montreal.

A big part of Plante's inaugural speech to the Montreal Metropolitan Community was on how to boost ridership.

As mayor of Montreal, Plante is now the head of this 82-municipality coalition, and says it is more important than ever for them to form a common front to benefit from Ottawa's investments in public works projects in public transit right now.

“All together, then we can go and ask Quebec and Canada as well, and say we need some of that money you want to invest, how about a big project in the greater metropolitan region, this is how we need to move forward as a big metropolitan area,” she said.

Plante says she will be announcing the details of a public consultation in the spring to come up with a type of "master transit plan" for Greater Montreal, complete with projects that complement each other and that can then be quickly proposed to Ottawa and Quebec.

She also is considering making public transit free for seniors as has been the case in Laval for the past four years – as well as for children.

Projet Montreal’s platform also promised a reduced fee of up to 40 per cent for low-income Montrealers.

Plante said that at the moment, her administration is looking at best practices in municipalities that have reduced fees to see how much it might cost and make its case to Quebec.