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$85 million in cuts to STM, while preserving the metro

$85 million in cuts to STM, while preserving the metro

Montreal Transit (STM) has found a way to reduce the expected growth in its expenses by $85.6 million without having to reduce metro or bus line schedules.

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On Wednesday, the organization presented a budget of $1.77 billion for the year 2024, which will enable “[maintenir] Bus and metro service offer at the level of 2023 and [d’augmenter] STM confirmed that air-conditioned transportation increased by 29.5% to reach the 2019 level.

Note that the level of service for the year 2023 for buses is equivalent to 97% of what it was before the pandemic. The metro provided 94% of the service that was available in 2019 in 2023.

In fact, the 2024 budget is up 4% compared to the 2023 budget, thanks to increased operating revenues transferred to STM by the Regional Metropolitan Transport Authority (ARTM), Greater Montreal’s public transit leader.

Recall that the STM has ended its “10-minute maximum” bus network in 2023.

Job cuts

To balance its budget, STM intends to limit the growth in its wage expenses to just 2.9%. More than 10,000 STM employees will receive approximately $1.17 billion in 2024, an amount that includes their base wages and all associated costs (overtime, bonuses, social benefits, etc.).

STM Director General, Marie-Claude Leonard, commented that STM has adopted “a reduction in salaries for employees and executives not related to operations and a reduction in the budget for goods and services.”

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In particular, this will lead to a 1% reduction in staff and non-filling of vacant positions, as stated in the budget. Last week, the company announced the elimination of 255 jobs.

“These measures will have long-term effects, representing a major turning point in the Stabilization and Association Mechanism,” Mr. Hans stressed.I Leonard.

Remember, STM expected to end its fiscal year with a $60 million deficit. The latter should be paid for thanks to the $400 million in emergency aid that Quebec launched during its budget update in November.

The D.C. community warned Legault’s government this fall that without new money, public transit services could be cut. The idea of ​​reducing the number of operating hours of the metro has even been mooted.