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STM permanently ends '10 Minutes Max' service on remaining bus routes


Transit users in Montreal who might be accustomed to the "10 Minutes Max" bus routes are going to be waiting a little longer.

The Société de transport de Montréal (STM) said Friday it can no longer promise a bus will come every 10 minutes on the eight routes that still offered the service because of the financial strain the transit authority is facing and a change in customer habits.

"Due to the current context, the frequency of service has been readjusted according to ridership: an interval of more than 10 minutes could therefore be observed between two runs on our 10 Max lines during rush hour," reads a message on the STM's website.

The guarantee of a bus coming every 10 minutes was originally announced on 31 routes in 2010. In recent years, it was dropped to eight routes: 18 Beaubien, 24 Sherbrooke, 33 Langelier, 64 Grenet, 103 Monkland, 106 Newman, 141 Jean-Talon est, and 406 Express Newman.

Katherine Roux Groleau, a spokesperson for the STM, said in an email to CTV News that the transit authority will permanently end the 10-minute interval service on the remaining eight routes as of Jan. 9 in light of "a strong determination of properly managing public funds and in accordance with our current financial situation."

Last November, the STM announced a bigger-than-expected hole in its budget for 2023. It forecasted a deficit of nearly $78 million and warned about a drop in the frequency of some routes as it struggles with "major financial struggles."

Roux Groleau said Friday that scrapping the few remaining 10-minute routes is part of the STM's services adjustment to adapt to new customer habits. The city has been struggling to keep workers downtown amid the shift to working from home during the pandemic. 

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"This measure is aligned with our desire to optimize our service offering by meeting the needs of bus lines that increased ridership post-pandemic, particularly in the industrial sectors, and to adjust service offering on lines with significant residual capacity, depending on the load on board and the frequency of passages, e.g. on lines departing from the city center and high-frequency lines during weekdays given the new customer habits and teleworking," she said.

She added most of the routes that originally offered the 10 Minutes Max service are still "high frequency" and offer service approximately every 12 minutes. Top Stories

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