Public consultation on Québec's Green Plan for sustainable development
The STM wants public transportation to be considered
a priority with respect to sustainable development
Montreal, 15 March 2005 - Earlier today, the Société de transport de Montréal submitted a brief as part of the public consultation on Québec’s Green Plan for sustainable development. Indeed, the STM is in favour of the government’s approach and proposed legislation for sustainable development, with public transportation being a key element that should be identified as a priority in the matter of sustainable development.
In the Montréal area, public transit’s market share remained stable at 22%, despite an 8% increase in ridership since 1998. During the same period, the number of cars jumped by 10% whereas the region’s actual population only grew by 3%. These numbers only emphasize the importance for governments to act in favour of public transportation, as there is no indication this trend will change in the near future. Interventions should mostly occur in urban settings, as public transportation and appropriate measures to deal with demand constitute an efficient means at the government’s disposal to counteract this trend.
The STM has shown that public transportation subscribes to the principles of sustainable development. However, it also still finds itself in a context of uncertainty, both financially and institutionally, one that curtails concrete action regarding sustainable development. Financially, 97% of investment projections by the STM for the next ten years will serve to maintain its assets, involving mainly the métro, while only 3% is earmarked for development. It will be difficult, perhaps impossible to generate the momentum required to implement a genuine strategy for sustainable development without first providing public transit authorities with a new financial and corporate framework that reflects this new priority.
In its conclusion, the STM presented Minister Mulcair with five recommendations:·
The government should forge ahead with this process;
Public transportation should be specifically identified as a priority for sustainable development in any proposed legislation;
The government should engage the financial means to ensure public transportation’s sustained growth and development;
The STM should play an active part in formulating the different elements of the government plan for sustainable development;
A review mechanism should be included to ensure consistency in planning and in actions carried out by municipal, provincial and federal bodies.
The STM is currently the 18th largest company in Québec, accounting for nearly 87% of all public transportation in the Montréal area and slightly more than three quarters of all public transit province-wide. In 2003, the STM providing some 363 millions bus and métro trips.
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