Currently, transit users pay $75.50 for their monthly passes, but as of Jan. 1, 2013 the fee could go up by $2.25, bringing the overall monthly fee to $77.75 if municipal council votes in favour of the fee increase.
This is the twelfth time the STM has proposed raising prices in the past decade. According to numbers compiled by the city's official opposition, passengers could be paying $25.75 more for monthly passes than in 2003.
City council still needs to approve the changes but Richard Bergeron of Projet Montréal said his party will oppose the increase, but said the Union Montreal majority will likely allow the changes."We will introduce a new way to consider the financing of transit when we will be the administration," said Bergeron. A similar hike last January increased the 2011 monthly pass fees by $3.25.
The STM has justified the incremental fee hikes as a part of their expanded services in the region. According to an STM news release, the increases are based on service improvements, investments and the consumer price index for transportation and fuel.
"Clearly our goal is to find a balance in how we fund improvements to transit. The riders have to do their part. The tax payers are already doing their parts through the grant from the agglomeration of Montreal," said Marvin Rotrand, vice-chair of the STM.
Other changes were announced today as a part of the STM's new budget including the introduction of a weekend pass, as well as renovations to metro stations and an upgrading of the bus fleet.
"We have increased our services overall by 25 per cent, surpassing the Quebec government’s target of 16 per cent," chair of the STM board of directors Michel Labrecque said.
Fares for single and return trips will not change next year, but the cost for 24-hour passes, along with multi-day passes will go up.