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STM to distribute more free masks, create live metro and bus capacity app

STM reps were asked repeatedly about how they’d enforce mandatory masks.

Ahead of masks or face coverings becoming mandatory in STM and AMT metros and buses in Montreal on Monday, July 13, the STM held a press conference to announce a new information campaign, app, mask-distribution plan and other COVID-19 prevention measures.

The distribution of reusable masks will start up again on Monday (the STM has already distributed 235,000 of the 1.5 million masks they have at their disposal), and announcements and signage about mandatory masks will be made and posted inside the buses and metro stations and cars.

By the end of August, STM users will be able to gage how much free space is available on buses prior to their trip with a new STM app. The app will add live capacity reports on the metro’s orange line by October.

Philippe Schnobb, Chairman of the STM Board of Directors and Luc Tremblay, Executive Director of STM QUAND, were asked repeatedly what the STM would do about people who aren’t wearing masks, refuse to wear a mask provided to them or remove their mask in transit. Schnobb and Tremblay said that their focus is on the information campaign to make STM users aware of the rule, as well as the mask distribution within the system. They also noted that mandatory mask bylaw for all of Montreal — which comes into effect on July 27 (the end of the STM’s two-week “grace period” for mandatory masks) — will help to get the message to Montrealers that they need to pack a mask when they leave the house.

“If you have to wear a mask in the grocery store, you’ll have one with you when you go into the metro,” Schnobb said.

“Our strategy is to make it easy for (clients) to respect the new rule,” Tremblay added.

As the STM stated on Twitter: “The STM will make every effort to ensure that the obligation to wear a face covering can be respected by customers. Everyone must do their part by adopting new habits that will ensure greater security for all.” ■

STM website

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