Get ready to add one more item to the list of things you can pay for with your smartphone: bus tickets. Finally contactless payment for the STM — or at least part of it — is here! And it only took a global pandemic.

The Autorité régionale de transport métropolitain (ARTM) announced Tuesday that a new digital bus pass will be available for purchase September 1 until the end of 2020 as an "exploratory project," considering "the exceptional health situation linked to the COVID-19 pandemic."

At a time when travel habits are still changing, this initiative is in addition to the health measures put in place by the region's transportation companies, allowing users more flexibility,

Benoît Gendron ARTM Director General

Here's how it works, according to the announcement:

You buy your ticket for $3.50 using the Chrono or Transit apps, activate it when you're ready to use it, and then show it to the bus driver. 

The ticket is valid on all bus lines in the metropolitan region for 120 minutes, and you can purchase multiple tickets on one phone if you're travelling in a group. 

Once the period of validity is over, the ticket will disappear, but it will be possible to track in your usage history.

Hopefully, if the trial period goes well, contactless mobile payments will continue past this year — and be expanded to other modes of transit besides buses. 

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