STM Launches new Airport Shuttle Service

The STM has announced a new bus service between the airport and the Voyageur bus terminal. This new line will have

  • Intermediate stops at Metro Lionel-Groulx, Gare Centrale, Metro Berri-UQAM
  • Travel time of approx 30 minutes one way
  • $7 cash fare (you are actually buying a 1 day tourist pass) each way
  • Full 24/7 service with frequency every 20 minutes in rush hour and even every hour overnight – same as night bus service frequency
    • UPDATE 2010-08-20: The current service pattern has 77 trips per day each way approximately every 10 minutes during the day (still every hour during the night)

Comparison with the proposed airport rail link

At an average speed of 11 km/h for the service (without traffic) it will be interesting to see how this will demonstrate the need for the rail shuttle project.  Rail shuttles typically will be significantly more expensive (at least 15$) but will be much faster and reliable. Since the airport is only 16km from the city centre, you could expect a rail shuttle to only take about 10 minutes assuming no intermediate stops – at least 3x faster.
Comparison with the Canada line in Vancouver
The Canada line in Vancouver charges $10 one way inbound to the city center and takes 26 minutes to cover 19km. The $10 fare is composed of a $5 fare for 3 zone travel and a $5 AddFare extra tariff for the airport service. If you are travelling to the airport there is no extra surcharge. In Montréal, for the $4.25 equivalent AddFare ($7-$2.75) tourist visitors will get a 1 day pass – a pretty good incentive to start using the bus and metro for traveling around town.

Questions for the STM

  • What happens if you try to use single trip tickets with an OPUS or paper card? Since these normally cost only $2.75, will they be rejected?
  • Why route #747? Admittedly, STM is not very consistent with the numbering system for special buses (Fagstein has already commented on this). It seems that STM likes to use cool numbers just like the 515 Old Port service. If so, why not “380” or “787” since these are newer planes?
  • Will the existing 204 & 209 lines that serve the airport be maintained with no loss of service?

3 comments so far

  1. Fagstein on

    I’m not the STM, but I have some answers:

    1. Single tickets will be rejected as they’re not a valid fare, whether it’s a single-use ticket, a single fare on an Opus card, or a transfer.
    2. The number 380 is already taken, first of all. And 747 might not be brand new, but it’s the most famous model of airplane. It’s also consistent with the numbering system in that this is a new kind of route and has been placed in the previously vacant 700-block. If they add other airport shuttles, they could number them 707, 737, 787, etc.
    3. Service on the 204 and 209 lines is not being diminished. Both serve the airport from the West Island, which does not overlap with the new 747 route.

    • transportjames on

      Thanks Fagstein !

  2. Andrew Dawson on

    I find the 747 service to be quite nice, I’ve taken it at times from the airport to Central Station to catch commuter trains on the DM line.

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