The exceptional measures implemented by the STM over the past few months to ensure that an optimal number of buses are on the road every morning have significantly improved the situation.
The trend observed since the end of December has continued into February. The out-of-service rates have continued to improve, decreasing from 33% in December to 24% in January and now to 22% at the start of February. STM customers can also benefit from the gradual arrival of new hybrid buses, as 55 new vehicles have been put into service.
“Our plan is working, and I’d like to congratulate our teams. We need to stay the course and maintain the exceptional measures in place. We’re aiming for an out-of-service rate of 19%, which will allow us to make the service improvements planned for September and give us enough flexibility to handle any unforeseen events,” says Luc Tremblay, Chief Executive Officer of the STM.
More than 80 new mechanics have been trained and are now working in the garages. The adoption process for the new computer system for planning and procuring parts required for bus maintenance is underway, and specific resources have been brought on board for this purpose.
The reopening of the Saint-Denis bus garage at the beginning of January allowed the STM to increase its maintenance capacity. Also, as part of the strategy to accommodate 300 new buses, the STM is continuing expansion work on the Anjou, Saint-Laurent and Legendre garages. The new Bellechasse bus garage is coming along, and the east end bus garage project is progressing.
Exceptional measures for an exceptional situation
To speed up reaching an out-of-service rate of 19%, the STM continues to mandate Nova Bus to perform maintenance work recommended in service bulletins. This work is related to recalls, for which costs are covered by the supplier and which serve to increase vehicle reliability. Close to 97% of this work is performed externally at no cost to the STM. It is a best practice in the transit industry to have this type of work done by suppliers.
Other temporary external mandates represent a very small portion of all maintenance work that the STM must do. Currently, only 85 buses, a fraction of the STM’s fleet of 1,882 buses, are affected by this and for certain work only. The STM will assess its options as the situation evolves.
Most bus maintenance work is done internally, and this will not change. The STM has no intention of privatizing its maintenance activities when it can count on competent, dedicated and experienced employees. No jobs are at risk, and employees have access to overtime. The STM is in fact looking for new candidates to join its teams.
“Our priority is to offer quality service to our customers. These exceptional temporary measures are giving us additional flexibility in delivering the service promised until the situation is completely resolved,” says Mr. Tremblay.
55 new hybrid buses have already been put into service
Extension work underway - Anjou garage
Extension work - Legendre garage
Extension work - Saint-Laurent garage