Montreal, 6 may 2003 ; Faced with an $18 M shortfall in the 2003 budget, Mr. Claude Dauphin, Chairman of the Board of Directors, announ

Press release

$18 M shortfall
The STM implements corrective measures

Montreal, 6 may 2003 – Faced with an $18 M shortfall in the 2003 budget, Mr. Claude Dauphin, Chairman of the Board of Directors, announced that an additional financial effort would be required from the city of Montreal, from the STM, as well as from transit users. As such, the city is studying the possibility of increasing its contribution by $6 M in 2003, the STM is committed to recovering $6 M without cutting services, and transit users will have to pay slightly more to use public transportation in Montreal.

Measures that failed to materialize
Mr. Dauphin pointed out that the 2003 Budget, approved last November, already included a $15.5 M shortage. "At the time, the STM hoped that some of the measures set out in the Bernard report would be implemented, allowing it to recover certain sums of money. However, Québec has not yet followed through with Mr. Bernard’s recommendations, and the funds we were counting on have failed to materialize." Explaining the $2.5 M discrepancy, he indicated that the STM’s surplus at the end of 2002 was $1.2 M lower than the $14 M already expected from its deferred income for 2003, while adding that the Agence métropolitaine de transport had not transferred the full amount of regional funding it anticipated.

Additional effort required from the City
Under the circumstances, the STM has asked the city of Montreal to raise the level of its contribution to public transportation to $255 M, which would mean an overall increase of $10.9 M, or 4.5%, for 2003. "This would be considerable for the city, because its financial framework is very tight. Still, we trust Montreal will approve our request, because it believes in public transportation and wants to encourage its use by more and more people," added Mr. Dauphin.

Fare increase for July
Beginning July 1st, 2003, all fares will go up slightly, except for the reduced cash fare, which will remain at $1.25. The 50% discount normally provided by reduced fares will still be maintained. The monthly CAM pass will increase by $2, or 3.8%, and cost $54. Similarly, the reduced CAM pass will go up by $1 and cost $27. The CAM hebdo will cost $16 (up by $1), while the reduced fare weekly pass will be increased by 50¢ and cost $8. A regular strip of six tickets will cost $10 (an extra 50¢), while the reduced fare strip of tickets will only go up by 25¢ and be sold $5. Lastly, users will have to pay $2.50 for a unit cash fare.

In spite of this second increase since January 1st, 2003, STM fares are still among the lowest in North America. And the 50% discount granted to reduced fare card holders makes STM fares by far some of the most competitive around.

Difficult decisions
Mr. Dauphin admitted these were difficult decisions to make, since the context is currently favourable to public transportation: the economy is going well, employment levels are steady and ridership is on the increase. "These decisions once again highlight the problem of chronic underfunding for public transportation and demonstrate the urgent need for a review of the financial framework for public transit corporations. Mr. Bernard fully understood these issues and proposed concrete measures to restore equity, increase funding sources and encourage the use of public transportation. We will continue our discussions with the new government in order to have the report implemented as soon as possible, since it had the support of all transit corporations in the province."


STM Numbers
2003 Budget:
$764.6 M
Passenger Revenues:
$331.6 M upgraded to $337.6 M
Contribution by the city:
$249 M that could reach $255 M
2002 Ridership:
364.5 M trips
2003 Ridership:
365.3 M trips (2003 Budget)