The STM has not been having a good time lately.
After a sharp increase in ridership led to severe crowding and several delays on both the bus and metro networks, passengers became particularly vocal with their frustrations. Hundreds of people have taken to Twitter to complain that the STM, in their view, is worse now than it has ever been.
TL;DR An ARTM customer survey lists several possible changes to the ticket pricing system in Montreal. Metro and bus ticket price hikes, especially, appear to be on the horizon.
The public transit agency is doing its best to ameliorate service, including with more frequent metro trains, but can do little in the longterm without a major planning intervention.
Unfortunately, despite calls from the STM president for a new metro line to relieve the overburdened Orange line, the current provincial government has demonstrated its reluctance to fund any major transit projects in Montreal. The CAQ has opted, instead, to invest in suburban trains and roads.
As a result, the city of Montreal, STM, and ARTM, the umbrella agency that manages transit in the Montreal region, will need to seek out creative solutions to both improve service and meet their vision for the future of the urban transportation network.
That may be one motivation behind a customer survey, which the ARTM launched last month and is hosted on the STM website here.
The survey questions offer a telling glimpse of things to come, including ticket price increases, according to La Presse.
Among new ticket systems that the ARTM and STM are exploring are congestion and regional pricing.
In the first scheme, train tickets would cost more during rush hours. This way, the STM would be able to profit from congestion. But this may also discourage commuters from using public transit.
In a regional pricing system, ticket prices would vary according to the length of travel.
The ARTM is strategically unspecific about which servies would be subject to these changes, referring only to an increase in the price of trips by "train" instead of naming either the metro or suburban rail system.
However, La Presse indicates that metro ticket price hikes are certainly a possibility.
Other schemes include different prices for bus and train rides and pricing based on the frequency of service.
The one thing that is clear form this survey is that metro and bus ticket increases in some form are on the horizon.