Pass go

Several techniques have been used to address the dual market for transit service to the airport, separating air travelers (time sensitive but price insensitive) from airport employees. In St. Louis, San Francisco, and Newark, cash fares to/from the airport station are high but monthly passes are accepted. In Indianapolis and Hong Kong, completely separate, premium-fare express routes run alongside local routes with standard pricing.

Now Montreal comes by with an added innovation, incorporating the ridership gains associated with selling day passes to visitors: the STM’s new airport express bus will only accept passes. The base cash fare of $7 is the same price as a day pass, and includes a day pass. Even if the pass goes unused, it’s still a bargain for the air traveler — it’s half the cost of the current private-franchise shuttle bus, and 80% cheaper than a cab.

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