Montreal’s Metro shall be free to journey on weekends at 7 downtown stations

It will be free to ride Montreal’s Metro on weekends and holidays between seven downtown stations from June 24 to Sept. 5.

“The best way to come to downtown is by public transit,” said Mayor Valérie Plante on Twitter Thursday as she announced the measure, which will cost the city $2 million.

The stations that will be free during weekends and holidays are: Saint-Laurent, Place-des-Arts, McGill, Peel, Champ-de-Mars, Place-d’Armes and Berri-UQAM.

It will be mandatory to have a valid transit pass in your possession to access the other Metro stations, the bus network and the paratransit service.

“As usual we will monitor the situation closely and aim to make adjustments if necessary, depending on available resources,” said Philippe Déry, spokesperson for the Société de transport de Montréal.

The estimated traffic for this summer at these seven stations is approximately 136,000 entrants per weekend, he said.

“Our experience on other free days tends to show that this measure has a positive effect on ridership, which is nevertheless difficult to quantify precisely,” he added.

According to a Montreal news release, the aim is to encourage visitors and Montrealers to favor public transit as a way of getting around downtown.

“Summer in Montreal is second to none and after two years of a pandemic, we are going to make sure it will be unforgettable this year,” said Luc Rabouin, Plateau-Mont-Royal borough mayor and executive committee member, in the statement.

In downtown, the Ville-Marie borough is investing an additional $1.7 million in cleanliness efforts. Among its initiatives, it will be increasing the number of recycling and waste baskets by more than 50 per cent.

Two alleys around Peel and Stanley streets will also be upgraded to provide artistic routes through the city, the news release says. And “special attention” will be paid to downtown streets to improve the fluidity around construction sites.

“The new measures announced today will help improve the accessibility, attractiveness and experience of our downtown for everyone, as the summer season looks promising,” said Glenn Castanheira, general manager of Montreal’s downtown business association.

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