According to the Montreal Economic Institute (MEI), public transport companies should review the pay of bus drivers, which would cut their deficit in half.
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As Quebec complains that companies in the transportation sector have to absorb the deficit, a proposal to lower bus driver pay to a level comparable to jobs in this category could cut costs by $250 million, the institute estimated Monday.
“By reviewing the pay of bus drivers, large public transport companies could eliminate half of their annual deficit,” Renaud Brossard, senior director of communications at the MEI, suggested on Monday.
Quebec’s big cities are projecting a deficit of $532 million next year for transit companies, while the Legault government estimates the deficit at $376.4 million.
The Quebec Statistics Institute observed that public transport bus drivers and metro operators have the highest total wages among jobs available with a fifth-secondary diploma.
In fact, the average hourly rate for bus drivers and Metro operators is $51.02, which equates to an average annual salary of $106,652, according to the same organization.
On the other hand, when we adjust for bus drivers’ nonstandard pay, other employees in the same job category benefited from an average salary of $35.74 an hour in 2022, according to MEI calculations.
“Before threatening to drastically reduce bus frequency or metro opening hours, transport companies need to spend our money responsibly,” said Mr. Brossard suggested.