Public transit agencies in the Montreal area cut services due to impact of COVID-19
Published Thursday, March 26, 2020 2:59PM EDT Last Updated Tuesday, March 31, 2020 11:39AM EDT
MONTREAL -- Public transit agencies across the Montreal area reduced their services Monday due to less traffic amid the COVID-19 pandemic,
The Autorite regionale de transport metropolitain (ARTM) announced that it would alter services Thursday.
The changes affected The Societe de transport de Montreal (STM), the Societe de transport de Laval (STL) as well as Exo lines.
Changes to the STM’s regular bus and metro schedules came into effect on Monday and will likely evolve depending on demand. Transit users can expect a 20 per cent decrease of services during peak hours, and are being asked to plan their departures on the STM website, where schedules are up to date.
Ridership has dropped by nearly 75 per cent during the public health crisis, and the STM will reduce service during peak periods by 20 per cent on average, while maintaining access throughout the Island of Montreal.
- A decrease in high-frequency lines, including the “10 minutes max” lines, when ridership observed on these lines allows it
- Adjustments to lines serving the exo train stations, to take into account the decrease in commuter train service
- Postponement of mitigation measures planned for the REM work
- Elimination or significant reduction of services not currently in use, namely the navettes Or shuttles, bus lines for schools, and routes serving the Casino and Jean-Drapeau Park
- A decrease in service on line 747
The STM is reporting an over 80 per cent drop in turnstiles, and service will be reduced by 20 per cent during peak periods.
Train frequency was thus decreased on average from 3:20 to 4:05 for the Orange and Green Lines.
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The STL’s new schedule was released on Friday and came into effect on Saturday. The regular weekday bus service was reduced by 45 per cent, and the new schedule will apply every day of the week, including weekends.
The agency said it intends to coordinate its new schedule with other public transit networks to facilitate travel for transit users.
The following resources are available for planning departures:
• The STL website
• Send a text to 511785 with the number appearing on the bottom left of the bus stop sign
• Customer Contact Centre: 450-688-6520
The STM's paratransit services have been reduced by 85 per cent to reflect demand. For Exo, the service is still available to accommodate those who are working and to provide transportation essential to daily life such as to medical appointments, pharmacies and grocery stores.
The ARTM said public transit services will not halt completely amid the pandemic. These changes reflect the current demand, and will allow the transit agencies to follow social distancing rules implemented by the provincial government.