Montreal, 12 December 2005 - The Société de transport de Montréal today unveiled its three-year capital spending plan covering its investment expenses for 2006-2008, as well as their impact on subsequent years. According to Claude Dauphin, Chairman of the Board of Directors, “In 2006, customers will see the results of our efforts to modernize the transit system and improve the quality of services. From the new electronic fare boxes that will be installed aboard our buses by the end of 2006, to the refitted MR-73 métro cars that are more spacious and comfortable, along with a significantly larger number of cameras in the métro, the installation of more reliable escalators in several stations, and the introduction of priority traffic lights for buses along some of Montréal’s major roadways, these are just some of the achievements that will contribute to increasing the satisfaction of transit users, one of the major goals outlined in our Business Plan.”
Thus, for 2006-2008, the STM plans on investing $804.6 M in subsidized projects, $221.7 M in non-subsidized projects and $52.6 M in various other projects, for a total of $1.1 billion. The largest share of these investments, $619 M or 57.4%, will go to the métro, while the Bus Network will receive $334.8 M or 31%, and the remaining $125.3 M (11.6%) will go to different administrative sectors.
For the métro, these investments will essentially aim at maintaining the rolling stock’s availability and reliability. The main projects involve phases I and II of R�no-Syst�mes, for stationary equipment replacement, phase II of R�no-Stations, for métro station renovations, refitting the MR-73 railcars, an ongoing three-year programme, and replacing the 336 MR-63 cars that will turn 40 in 2006.
Investments in the Bus Network will be concentrated on relocating the major bus maintenance centre, expanding and redesigning the Legendre Centre, as it will be housing articulated buses in 2009. The Mont-Royal depot will eventually transfer its bus operations to the new Legendre building.
Projects in the administrative sectors consist mostly of replacing the current fare sales and collection equipment to better safeguard revenues, and introducing new systems to manage the maintenance and upkeep of buildings and other assets.
While acknowledging that transit’s needs are huge, Mr. Dauphin argued that investing to modernize the STM’s infrastructure and equipment is essential to ensuring services over the long term. “We are pleased with the agreement reached by both levels of government about sharing the federal excise tax on gas. Even though the terms of the agreement are not yet clearly defined, we expect to receive over $300 M to cover part of our capital spending over the next five years. This is welcome news, considering the STM foresees having to invest $3.5 billion in its network infrastructure over the next ten years.”
Finally, during the 2001-2005 period, the STM tripled its capital spending by injecting some $744.4 million in its assets valued at more than $8.9 billion.