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Balarama Holness Wants To Make Public Transportation Free For All Montrealers Under 25

The mayoral candidate gave us an exclusive preview of his vision for the city.
Balarama Holness Wants To Make Public Transportation Free For All Montrealers Under 25

If he's elected mayor of Montreal, Balarama Holness said he wants public transportation to be free for all Montrealers under 25 years old.

The former Montreal Alouettes player announced he was running for mayor of Montreal earlier this month.

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Holness said he is "deeply concerned" with the City of Montreal's plan to give Société de transport de Montréal (STM) officers police-like powers.

"Young people who are oftentimes insecure economically [...] are finding themselves being profiled and beaten for $3.50," Holness said, referring to the cost of a single metro or bus ticket in Montreal.

A video that surfaced online in April showed an STM officer punching a Black person who allegedly crossed Jean-Talon metro turnstiles without paying the fare.

"If we're going to give police-like powers to STM [officers], the result needs to be giving more leeway to young people who are profiled socially and racially," Holness told MTL Blog.

"When they cross those barriers and enter the metro station, there's no need for police officers [...] to spot them because they'll have free transportation."