Starting Saturday, only essential trips will be allowed on public transport between 8 p.m. and 5 a.m., but the terms and conditions surrounding user surveillance were still unclear at the time of this writing.
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The announced curfew, which will extend until February 8, will only allow people having to travel according to criteria established by Quebec to travel in the evening and at night. This is particularly the case for people who have to go to work or go to the pharmacy or hospital.
A citizen could thus be stopped by the police before boarding or disembarking from a bus, a taxi, a train or the metro to check if his trip is necessary, confirmed the Ministry of Public Security. .
He must provide a supporting document from his employer or mention the main reason for his trip. If he breaks the curfew rules, he could be issued a ticket ranging from $ 1,000 to $ 6,000.
More details should be specified Thursday in a press briefing by the Deputy Prime Minister of Quebec, Geneviève Guilbault. The government is also working on developing an identification document for essential workers.
The public transport service offer may be downgraded, but nothing has yet been confirmed. The Montreal and Laval transit companies are studying the issue.
The Réseau de transport de Longueuil (RTL) and the bus and commuter train operator exo are not currently planning any major changes to their current service offering.
It is also unclear how the rules will be applied on board taxis. At the Montreal Taxi Bureau, dispatchers and drivers will be asked to continue to educate customers on the directives imposed by the government, especially during the curfew, explained spokesperson Marianne Bourque.
The curfew imposed by the Legault government should not change much, according to taxi drivers met near the Terminus Longueuil on Wednesday. Some say their customer base is typically essential workers and people who have been going grocery shopping since the onset of COVID-19.
“I can’t wait for the hockey games and events to return in the evening,” said Jeannot Lévesque, a 37-year taxi driver on the South Shore of Montreal.
“I wait in my car for five hours for a race that will perhaps earn me $ 8-9, while it costs me $ 20 for heating to stay in my car for twelve hours,” said his colleague Jean-Pierre Joseph. The latter had only completed two races in mid-afternoon on Wednesday, three times less than normal.
In the new government measures, inter-regional travel is not recommended, but neither is it prohibited. The Quebec Ministry of Transport (MTQ) has ensured that there is no formal obligation to cease public transport activities between cities.
The carrier Limocar, which provides the link between Montreal and Sherbrooke, has already announced that it will drastically reduce its number of departures from Saturday. Only the express line will operate, and there will be only two departures per day in each direction.
Keolis Canada, whose buses serve Montreal, Quebec and the Gaspé in particular, is still considering adjusting its activities.