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Greater Montreal public transit fares to increase an average 3% on July 1

Public transit fares are increasing by an average of three per cent on July 1 in Greater Montreal, Global News has learned.

All users of transit agencies in the Montreal metropolitan community will be affected by the hikes.

“It’s a shame — I’m already paying quite a lot,” Alex Morin, an STM user, told Global News. “Going to have to start to penny-pinch even more now.”

The variations will depend on the transit agency and the type of pass being purchased but everyone will see an increase.

“I’d rather see my tax dollars go to supporting free public transit,” Sally Livingston, also an STM user, told Global News.

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The fare increases come while a large political debate dominates the halls of city hall in Montreal and the corridors of the national assembly in Quebec City.

According to L’autorité régionale de transport métropolitain (ARTM), which manages fare prices and the budgets of the transit agencies, the combined deficits are projected to reach $561 million in 2025.

Funding for public transit is roughly shared between user fares, municipal subsidies and government funding. The CAQ maintains it invests more in public transit than any other government in the history of Quebec.

Premier François Legault told MNAs on Thursday at the national assembly that it’s time cities and towns started contributing as well.

A similar argument was made by Transport Minister Geneviève Guilbault.

”It is a mission of the government to support public transit but it’s not our mission to manage it on a daily basis,” she said on Thursday.

The co-spokesperson of Québec Solidaire says the premier should tap into a $1.7-billion green fund to help boost the revenues of transit agencies.

”I urge Mr. Legault to examine the possibility of using those funds to find a short-term solution,” Gabriel Nadeau-Dubois told Global News.

A meeting between the transport minister, the mayors of cities in Greater Montreal and the operators of transit agencies is scheduled in June to try and find new ways to boost revenues and reduce budget deficits.

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