The Montreal-based Transit app, which many residents turn to for information on bus schedules and locations, is partially switching to a paid subscription model.
Users will still be able to freely access real-time updates, trip plans and directions, but information on distant departure times and transit lines will only be available through the new subscription service Transit Royale, according to an August 2021 news release.
The company said in an in-app message that Royale will also offer more trip options, personalized emoji avatars and customizable icons. It will additionally allow users to see where their friends are riding and compete in in-app competitions.
Royale will cost $24.99 for an annual subscription and $4.99 for a monthly subscription.
Transit began gradually rolling out Royale in 2021. The switch is reaching cities where Transit has a partnership with local transit authorities in 2022. In Montreal, at least a few Transit app users got notifications that limitless free service will end in April.
Though Transit said that agencies in some cities — such as Rochester, New York; Dayton, Ohio; Denver, Colorado; St. Louis, Missouri; and Santa Monica, California — will cover the cost of Royale for customers, the STM tells MTL Blog that there are no such plans here.
An STM spokesperson said that the company's financial situation will not allow it to subsidize the service.
Transit is one of two ride information apps that the STM officially recommends customers use. The other is Crono.
The STM also says that's not going to change even after the introduction of paid subscriptions on Transit.
"The basic version of the application," which will remain free, "already offers an adequate level of information to facilitate the use of the STM network and we continue to work with the team behind the application," the STM spokesperson said.
"Our approach is to let the customer make an informed choice among the available applications, depending on what best meets their needs."
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