June 24, 2024

The Queens County Citizen

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Budget 2024: “Fragile” economic context at RTC, raises its prices

Budget 2024: "Fragile" economic context at RTC, raises its prices

Under financial “pressure” with big investments for the electrification of its fleet, Capital Transport Network (RTC) will increase its prices for customers, but is asking the government to give it the means to achieve its ambitions and reduce it. demands.

• Also Read: Service for RTC buses has been reduced this winter: more than 360 departures per week have been cancelled

• Also Read: The RTC president promised to improve her communication

RTC President Maude Mercier Laroche confirmed late Thursday that “there will be an increase” due to inflation. “It will be a moderate increase, similar to last year, in a fragile context.”

The news came when the RTC presented its budget for the year 2024 on Thursday. “We must be clear, in the years to come, the situation will be fragile,” Director General Nicolas Girard said at the head of his first budget. The organization

Legault laments the government’s “tergiversions” on public transport and the lack of a predictable financing framework, saying, “To develop our future offer, it is becoming impossible to project ourselves into the future. […] No business can grow in such a situation. By doing so, we condemn RTC to become stagnant in future.

All three opposition parties at City Hall have denounced this possible increase, which would force consumers to dig deeper into their pockets. “This is not an incentive for people to take public transit. This is in addition to other increases that people are experiencing,” said official opposition leader Claude Villeneuve.

for $1.8 billionElectrification

Investments required for transportation electrification, government requirement, $1.8 billion over 10 years. RTC currently does not have the capacity to pay them in full. So it would have to add $300 million to its debt to get there, Mr. Girard said.

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That is why the RTC President called for a “stable, indexed and sustainable financial framework, [pour] This will enable the public transport companies to improve their services and increase the attractiveness of the transport. Mme Mercier Larouche went further and called on the government to review the 55% fleet electrification target by 2030.

“I think it’s in our interest to take a step back from electrification and ask ourselves if we should slow down.” She proposed better investment in service delivery to encourage citizens to use public transport, which would help reduce greenhouse gases.

Too fast for a bike?

Opposition parties wonder if the RTC is moving too quickly in implementing the àVélo bike sharing service, which plans to have 1,300 bikes and 115 stations in service by 2024.me Mercier Larouche and Mr. Girard doesn’t believe we are too greedy and believes the service is very popular and everyone wins when a citizen chooses a bicycle over a car. The RTC is also looking into new financing solutions, such as adding sponsorships for bicycles and stations.

in numbers

Balanced budget is $280.7 million, up $20.4 million from 2023 projections

  • Index of collective agreements and several supply agreements: $7.5 million
  • Contribution to STAC: $4.5 million
  • Service level: $3.7M
  • Net debt service: $2.9 million
  • Addition of Flexibus zones: $1.1M

2024-2033 capital expenditure program, $2.9 billion in investments over 10 years, including:

  • Electrification: $1.8 billion
  • Rolling stock, infrastructure and systems maintenance: $891 million
  • Infrastructure and Systems Development: $232 million

Ridership:

  • Ridership recovery rate is 83.7% compared to 2019

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