Sign up for our newsletter and get a curated list of the top trending stories and exclusive rewards every day.

Trending Topics

Get the MTL Blog app

Download on the App StoreGet it on Google Play

The STM Is "Illegally" Charging You Extra Money To Get A New OPUS Card

So says the province's consumer protection agency.
The STM Is "Illegally" Charging You Extra Money To Get A New OPUS Card

Getting a new OPUS card requires users to pay a surcharge and some critics are saying that this added fee is completely illegal. 

Non-photo ID OPUS cards issued out after 2012 have a 4-year lifespan before needing to be renewed. And apparently since January of 2017 the STM and related transport companies have been charging users a $6 fee to get a new card. 

READ ALSO: STM Warning: Real Time Mobile App Is No Longer Available

Quebec’s Office of Consumer Protection, however, says that the added $6 fee is illegal, at least in its interpretation of the province’s Consumer Protection Act. 

Citing sections 187.1 and 79.3 of the Consumer Protection Act, a spokesman for the Office of Consumer Protection told TVA that, when it comes to prepaid cards like OPUS cards, businesses (in this case the STM) “must provide a new card free of charge to the consumer.”

For the longest time OPUS cards never had an expiration date and thus no added $6 fee. It wasn’t until 2012 that the STM began stamping expiry dates on the back of OPUS cards and requiring users to get a new one every four years. 

Defending the surcharge, spokesperson for the STM Amélie Régis said that the transit company makes no money off of the $6 fee. According to the STM, the $6 goes towards the cost of production for new cards. 

Besides, the STM doesn’t see itself as a typical commercial business and is therefore exempt from the Consumer Protection Act. 

Régis, speaking on behalf of the STM, said that the transit company is “not a commercial trader within the meaning of the Consumer Protection Act” and that the OPUS card is “neither a prepared card nor a gift card.”

Basically, the STM believes it doesn’t need to follow the rules of the CPA

Anyone miffed about the $6 charge is invited to file a complaint and contact the Office of Consumer Protection. 

To see what other transit companies across Canada charge for new cards (if anything) TVA has a breakdown of costs here

More from MTL Blog

Comments 💬

Our comment section is a place to promote self-expression, freedom of speech and positivity. We encourage discussion and debate, but our pages must remain a safe space where everyone feels comfortable and the environment is respectful.

In order to make this possible, we monitor comments to keep spam, hate speech, violence, and vulgarity off our pages. Comments are moderated according to our Community Guidelines.

Please note that Narcity Media does not endorse the opinions expressed in the comment section of an article. Narcity Media has the right to remove comments, ban or suspend any user without notice, or close a story’s comment section at any time.

First and last names will appear with each comment and the use of pseudonyms is prohibited. By commenting, you acknowledge that Narcity Media has the right to use & distribute your content across our properties.