The STM;s Budget for 2003 "A budget for continuity"

Press release

The 2003 Budget complete document in French

The STM’s Budget for 2003
"A budget for continuity"

Claude Dauphin

Montreal, 25 November 2002 – The Société de transport de Montréal (STM) released its 2003 Budget figures today and, at $764.6M, it is up by 5.4% compared to the 2002 budget. "This increase is essentially due to the STM resuming its $30M contribution to the various employee pension funds as of next January, as well as $3.3M for maintenance work required to ensure the reliability of bus and métro operations. This budget was not designed for development, but rather for continuity", explained Claude Dauphin, chairman of the board of directors.

The budget anticipates a 2% increase in the City of Montreal’s contribution, up to $249M from $244.1M, as well as $15.5M expected from new funding sources. "Indeed, the STM is confident the current review of its financial framework will produce concrete measures that will provide for more adequate and stable funding", added Mr. Dauphin.

Expected increase in ridership
In light of the favourable economic context and the 2003 budget parameters, the STM expects a 1.1% increase in ridership next year, which translates into 3.8 million trips, for a total of 365.3 million trips overall. According to Marvin Rotrand, vice-chairman of the board, "Such an increase is all the more significant, because it builds on the 2.1% increase registered in 2001 and the 1.9% increase anticipated for 2002. Since 2001, the STM will have succeeded in increasing by 10 million the number of bus and métro trips within its territory. Few North American transit authorities can boast such results."

To handle higher ridership levels, the STM will slightly boost its regular service by adding some 20,000 hours, bringing the total number of service hours to 4.2 million for 2003. Also noteworthy, the STM will have the latitude to add buses at strategic points throughout its network as a means of quickly responding to rush hour needs. As for the métro, the 5 - Blue line will continue to operate till a quarter past midnight, since it registered the greatest ridership increase in 2002 (+4.2%).

The STM also expects a $19M increase in passenger revenue, $10M of which from higher ridership levels (the 2002 increase + the expected one for 2003), the other $9M from next year’s fare increase (3% more than 2002).

Some rates go up
As of January 1, 2003, the monthly CAM pass will go from $50 to $52 (an average of $0.88 per trip), while the reduced fare CAM pass goes from $25 to $26. The weekly CAM Hebdo pass will cost an extra dollar, at $15 (an average of $1.15 per trip), while the reduced fare weekly pass will cost $7.50, a 50-cent increase. Since cash fares were hiked by 25 cents in 2002, they will remain unchanged at $2.25 and $1.25. Finally, a strip of six tickets will cost a bit more: $9.50 and $4.75, bringing the unit fare to $1.58 and $0.79.

Mr. Dauphin pointed out that, in spite of these unavoidable fare increases, "the STM is still among the transit authorities that offer the lowest fares in Canada and certainly is the one that grants the most generous discounts to reduced-fare users. For that matter, the Privil�ge Card introduced in 2002, which allows a 50% discount on the purchase of a monthly CAM pass to full-time students aged 18 to 25, was so successful, the STM had to review its numbers for 2003. Indeed, 68 700 cards were sold in 2002, and we expect to issue over 75 000 in 2003, a measure we evaluate at more than $23M."

Marked increase in the demand for paratransit services
The demand for paratransit is still quite strong. Since 1994, use of this service has gone up by 33.1% in Montreal alone. Anticipating a 10.7% increase in the number of trips for 2003, the STM indicated to the ministère des transports du Québec that it expects operating expenses will reach $30.9M, up by 8.2% over 2002.

Necessary expenses to maintain assets
The STM also released its 2003-2005 Triennial Investment Programme (PTI). For the three-year period, the STM plans on investing $860.2M to maintain and renew its assets, with $776M earmarked for major projects and $84.2M set aside for periodic major maintenance of equipment.

The 2003-2005 PTI budget will be used to fund the métro’s fixed equipment maintenance programme, known as R�no-Syst�mes ($271M), the replacement of urban buses and minibuses ($172M), the purchase and installation of a new fare sales and collection system ($94.5M), the relocation of the Saint-Denis bus garage ($50M), as well as Phase 2 of the métro station renovation programme ($43.4M).

The interim director general, Ms. Francine Gauthier, called attention to the fact that "since 1995, the STM will have invested $629.7M in its considerable asset base, at an average rate of $78.7M per year. Nevertheless, the STM must invest even more over the next years to compensate for aging equipment and infrastructures, the replacement of which is estimated at over 5.5 billion dollars."

"All this clearly demonstrates the importance of making the right decisions today about adequate financing for public transportation", added Mr. Dauphin. "We are hopeful that concrete solutions will soon be proposed, and that they will enable the STM to go on providing the safest, most reliable and least expensive transit services in the world."


The 2003 Budget complete document in French