MONTREAL -- As of this coming Monday, boarding and fare collection will resume at the front entrance of buses operated by the Societe de transport de Montreal (STM) across its entire network. 

Transit users were asked to board from the back of the bus over several months due to the COVID-19 pandemic, and public transit agencies say they have lost enormous amounts of money during this period. 

Public transit agencies in Laval and Longueuil both announced the gradual resumption of front-entrance boarding as of Aug. 1. On Thursday, the STM said this will be in place across its network as of Aug. 10. 

The STM notes that buses will be geared with a protective panel to keep drivers safe, as well as informational posters to facilitate passenger circulation towards the back of the bus. 

The transit agency is also asking users to board from the front and exit from the back of buses, and to remain behind a line that will keep two metres of distance between them and drivers. 

Inspectors will verify the validity of transit passes on the metro and bus network; those who enter without a valid ticket or pass may be subject to a fine ranging between $150 and $500. 

This report by The Canadian Press first first published Aug. 6, 2020.