October 16, 2021

The Queens County Citizen

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STM sees “major service cuts” in 2022

STM sees "major service cuts" in 2022

The Society de Transport de Montreal (STM), which is still struggling with a $ 62 million financial hole for 2022, will have to make “major service cuts” next year. The company says it has reached back to the wall, having already studied various supply reduction scenarios.

It was observed Destiny By consulting an internal document submitted in June to the Board of Directors of STM, and this has so far been ignored.

The note, prepared by the operator and titled “Illustrations – Bus Adjustment and Metro Service Offer from 2022”, puts forward various ways for STM to meet its needs to meet the needs of local public transport authorities. One of them plans to reduce the use of metro trains by a third to make more than $ 150 million in profits by 2022.

But the scenario preferred by the transport company is more moderate. It is based on a 10% discount on metro trips and a 5% discount on the bus network in 2022 and will allow STM to recoup $ 28 million next year.

This avenue is expected to cut about 200 employees. In the bus network, such adjustment of service should end a maximum of ten minutes interval and respect certain lines. In metro tunnels, if the “more sophisticated scenario” is not adopted, the waiting time between evening and peak hours is reduced to seven minutes, which “minimizes the impact as much as possible.” [la] Customer base “.

“Bus discount (-5%) and Metro (-10%) offer may delay or cancel attempts to bring customers back to bus and metro networks,” [ce scénario] The same is recommended in the current financial context ”, can be read inside the document.

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In red

Contacted by Destiny, STM continued its desire to “maintain the level of service it provides to customers as much as possible”. “Currently, 2022 is not a stable scenario,” said Philip Derry, the company’s public relations consultant.

However, according to Luke Tremble, general manager of STM, the operator will not be able to cover its shortcomings. If money is not injected at the last minute, it is “undeniable that there will be big service cuts in 2022,” he said in an interview on Wednesday. Destiny.

Earlier this year, Autoritérégionale de transport métropolitain (ARTM) asked the carrier to raise $ 62 million to balance the budget in 2022. Impossible to release “without touching service”, STM handles. Analysis by its Auditor General.

With the construction deficit for “too long,” STM has made “huge efforts” to adjust the situation in recent years, Luck Tremble said. “There, we are at a time when there is no more margin,” he admitted by phone.

“Our financial model dates back to the 1990s. The registration tax has not been indexed since 1992,” he added. There, with the efforts asking us, it is undeniable that there will be cuts. “

Luke Tremley represents the ARTM record. In his view, the Authority has not done enough since its birth in 2016 to find a “permanent” way out of the structural deficits of the Greater Montreal carriers.

Until 2022, Mr Tremley called for the restoration of emergency aid to prevent cuts in Quebec, during which time the latest figures compiled by STM show ridership equivalent to 55% of pre-epidemic levels.

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Limit costs

Last year, the government Franకోois Legalt Quebec has released $ 1.2 billion in aid to shipping companies severely affected by the pandemic crisis. “It would be nice if it continued, because the traffic didn’t come back,” Luke Tremble said.

“What we are asking STM to do is not only reduce its costs, but also limit growth and not affect customers,” he replied early in the evening. Advisor on Public Affairs of ARTM. Solutions to this problem will continue to be found between the organization and the government, which will also be affected Other transportation companies in the Greater Montreal area.

Many sources in the vicinity of the minister in charge of the metropolis, Chantal Rowley also expressed concern. To stay This week STM “loses control” over major projects that have increased bills in recent years Metro’s blue line extension from Saint-Michel to Anjou.

“This will have an impact on the future because these projects require tight cost management to prevent Montreallers from collapsing under STM debt,” it said, growing sharply each year, even responding on Thursday. Nominated for Saint-Laurent Mayor and re-candidate-ensemble Montreal, Alan D’Souza. According to him, STM should “immediately” form a “cost control committee” to force STM to limit bill growth for its major projects. We can avoid reducing the service offer to public transport customers, he hopes.

“Even though workers are not fully returning to the office towers, we are already seeing congestion resuming in the city center, so we believe it’s essential to maintain the service to promote the use of public transport,” said Mary Kim Goudrialt, Press Secretary, Head of Project Montreal. Valerie Plante. She ensures that the city works “actively” with ARTM and Quebec to “find short- and medium-term solutions” to STM’s financial problems.

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“We cannot talk about carbon neutrality and cuts in STM in 2050, we must encourage people to make public transit,” Balarama Holness, the leader of the Montreal Montreal Movement, also responded, proposing that hydro-Quebec in particular provide more beneficial electricity. Rates to STM thus supplying its metro network at low cost.

With Zachary Goudriault

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