Montréal, November 25, 2011 – The STM Board of Directors announces that it is tabling the STM budget for 2012, one that will enable the public transit corporation to continue expanding services and to invest massively in the renewal of infrastructure and rolling stock. The overall effort aims to better satisfy the needs of customers and thus increase ridership.
‘‘ The results we achieved these last years clearly show that our combined efforts have produced results. From 2007 to 2011, the STM achieved exceptional growth in its offer of service, thanks to considerable financial support by the Agglomeration of Montréal and Government of Québec, who shared equally in funding PASTEC, the STM’s public transit service improvement program. By the end of 2011, we expect to reach an historic ridership level of 405 million passenger rides, a 4.2% increase over 2010. With such results, the STM can end the current five-year period with an 11.5% increase in ridership, surpassing the 8% target outlined in PASTEC, ” declared Board Chairman Michel Labrecque.
Among the service improvements planned for 2012, the STM will introduce four express bus lines, the first serving Rosemont Boulevard before heading downtown, and three others in the West Island area, as part of traffic mitigating measures related to work on the Turcot Interchange. The STM will acquire 32 buses to carry out these measures. Over 100 km of new reserved lanes will be added along ten other corridors in 2012, bringing the total to more than 240 km. The STM will also initiate the first phase of service improvements in the Côte-des-Neiges district, as part of construction work on Sainte-Justine hospital, and will introduce the 71 – Centre bus line into service in Sud-Ouest Borough.
A fare structure that takes on the public transit challenge
On January 1, 2012, fares will go up, taking into consideration four criteria having a direct impact on STM expenses: consumer price index (CPI), the price index specific to transportation and fuel (TPI), service improvements and investments needed to renew assets. The impact of fare increases on ridership was also taken into account. All things considered, the STM is increasing some of its fares, but keeping the cost of monthly passes among the lowest in Canada and North America.
The regular monthly CAM pass will cost $75.50, while the reduced fare pass will cost $43.75, a $2.75 increase over last year. However, transit users entitled to reduced fares can purchase a 4-month CAM pass for the low price of $164, equal to four reduced fare monthly passes at the 2011 price. The CAM hebdo pass will go up to $23.50 for adults, a $1.50 increase over last year, while the reduced fare weekly pass goes up to $13.75, a one dollar increase. The regular and reduced fare 10-trip cards will cost $24 and $14 respectively.
Remaining fares, including the single trip, return trip, one-day, and three-day fare cards, as well as cash fares paid aboard the 747 – Aéroport P-E-Trudeau / Centre-Ville bus, stay unchanged from 2011. Lastly, the Unlimited evening pass provides holders with unlimited access to the STM bus and métro network from 6 p.m. to 5 a.m. the next day for only $4.
Furthermore, the 6-trip fare card has been eliminated from the fare structure, replaced by the above-mentioned, along with the CAM Longueuil, created for a one-year transition period. This way, fares at Longueuil–Université-de-Sherbrooke station will be in line with those in effect at stations in Laval, as per the agreement in principle reached between CMM municipalities and the June 2010 agreement with the Réseau de transport de Longueuil (RTL) that called for the complete harmonization of fares paid at stations located off the island of Montréal by January 1, 2012. From then on, the basic monthly pass, valid for travel from all off-island metro stations, will be the TRAM 3, that allows transit users to also ride the Longueuil and Laval transit systems, in addition to commuter trains at specified stations. For more information about TRAM fare cards, customers are invited to consult AMT’s website at www.amt.qc.ca.
Enhanced fare offers
For the first time since it was introduced in 2008, the Family Outings program is available throughout the Holidays, from December 24, 2011, to January 8, 2012, as well as during the winter school break, March 5 – 9, 2012. Family Outings makes it possible for up to five children under the age of 12 to ride public transit for free on legal holidays and weekends if they are accompanied by an adult with a valid fare card. Several commercial partners associated with the program offer a number of discounts applicable to their activities (www.stm.info).
Launched on September 1, a new universal access to public transit program, known as CAMPUS, was designed for Université de Montréal students who meet certain eligibility criteria and live on the island of Montréal. The program makes it possible for them to pay a unique, exclusive fare giving them unlimited access to the STM’s bus and métro network. Indeed, the 20 000 or so students who qualify for the CAMPUS program enjoy discounts on the cost of a monthly CAM pass, from 5% for anyone already entitled to reduced fares to up to 50% ($137 per school term) for students over the age of 25, who would normally pay the full fare.
The back to school period last fall also saw the introduction of the OPUS & Cie program, aimed at companies who want to promote public transit use among their employees. The program applies to regular fare annual subscriptions. Companies who register for the program are expected to financially contribute to the cost of their employees’ OPUS & Cie subscriptions, with the STM matching that discount up to a maximum of 10%.
Efficient financial management
The STM is tabling a $1 227 604 000 budget for 2012. Planned expenditures are up by $64.1 M, a 5.5% increase over the 2011 budget. Of that increase, 1.6% is directly earmarked for additions and improvements to customer service, while 0.9% involves capital spending and maintenance of aging infrastructure.
While working on keeping costs as low as possible, the STM will raise current spending by 3%. That increase is lower than a combined consumer price index (CPI) and transportation price index (TPI) of 3.97%, according to Statistics Canada data for July 2011, as determined by STM guidelines and applied in past years. Lastly, the STM maintains excellent credit ratings, A+ from Standard & Poor’s and Aa2 from Moody’s, confirming its sound management of expenses and stringent cost controls.
‘‘ Over the next few years, the STM’s financial resources will be insufficient to reach the objectives outlined in our 2020 Strategic Plan, this despite sustained contributions by transit users and the Agglomeration of Montréal, as well as investments by Transport Québec. The STM and indeed all public transit corporations in Québec must be able to count on current sources being increased, better yet, on new, stable, indexed and recurrent of sources funding being established, to first finance the maintenance and upkeep of equipment and infrastructure, and then further develop our services and introduce new modes of transportation. The sustainable development of our towns and cities, as well as their competitiveness in the coming decades, all depend on this, ’’ ended Mr. Labrecque.
The 2012 Budget and 2012-2014 Triennial Capital Expenditures Program are now available (in French) on the STM website. Click here: http://www.stm.info/en-bref/budget2012.pdf and http://www.stm.info/en-bref/pti_12-14.pdf
The 2012 fare structure is available at http://www.stm.info/info/doc/grille2012.pdf
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