The Société de transport de Montréal responds to allegations made by the Syndicat de transport de Montréal - CSN (maintenance empl

Press release

The Société de transport de Montréal responds to allegations
made by the Syndicat de transport de Montréal - CSN
(maintenance employees)

Montreal, 11 May, 2006 - In follow-up to the media advisory sent out yesterday afternoon by the Syndicat de transport de Montréal – CSN (maintenance employees), the management of the Société de transport de Montréal (STM) wishes to remind the public that its bus preventive maintenance policy – in particular matters relating to public safety – is governed by a strict set of rules.

One of the STM’s key concerns is the safety of its users and employees. To this end, the company’s preventive and corrective maintenance policy is centered around compliance with an extremely strict set of rules and procedures. This policy enables the STM to strengthen and improve, on an ongoing basis, the implementation and control of its mechanical maintenance process.

To this end, the STM observes the safety provisions set out by by the Société d’assurance automobile du Québec (SAAQ). These rules are based on a regular schedule of brake and tire inspections, which all vehicles must undergo every 10,000 kilometers, as well as a complete mechanical inspection of these components every 20,000 kilometers or no less frequently than once every six months.

The company has also set its own standards – which are more rigorous than those of the SAAQ – for a certain number of mechanical components, in order to ensure a higher level of mechanical reliability. Personnel conducting inspections can issue any of three types of notices, two of which deal exclusively with safety issues. Depending on the particular details of safety-related notices, the work must be completed either immediately or within 48 hours. If work is not completed within the assigned timeframe, the vehicle in question is taken out of service. Any non-safety-related findings are recorded and scheduled for later corrective action.

Furthermore, any defects or malfunctions that are detected between inspections are handled as part of the STM’s corrective maintenance procedures. If any of these problems are related to the vehicle’s safety apparatus (brakes, steering, etc.), the vehicle is immediately taken out of service. As specified in the company’s internal procedures, this automatically triggers a technical examination and a risk analysis. Based on the results of these analyses, additional controls could be conducted on a sample of buses or, if necessary, on all buses in that category. The appropriate corrective action is then applied.

The STM’s business plan addresses the issue of improved vehicle maintenance performance, particularly in terms of availability, reliability and operating costs. These measures have met with a certain amount of resistance on the part of the Syndicat de transport de Montréal – CSN (maintenance employees). The STM points out that the collective agreement expires in January 2007.

– 30 –