A better way to share the cost
of regional public transportation
Montreal, January 25, 2007 - As part of a speech given today before members of the Chambre de commerce et d’industrie du Sud-Ouest de Montréal, Claude Trudel, Chairman of the STM Board of Directors, spoke of the various issues facing public transportation, and particularly of the challenges posed by its funding.
“Although no agreement has yet been reached within the Metropolitan Montreal Community (CMM), I feel that the region’s elected officials have progressed significantly since last summer in their willingness to address the issue of regional transportation together,” declared Mr. Trudel. “We are looking for an agreement that includes a long-term, comprehensive package that will resolve public transit funding. Moreover, now that the métro is unanimously accepted as a metropolitan infrastructure, the City of Montréal and the STM are proposing a formula that would allocate 67% of the métro’s “metropolitan” deficit to Montréal agglomeration municipalities and 33% among the other CMM municipalities.”
“Sharing the costs of regional public transportation must rely on a long-term commitment by metropolitan-area municipalities. Just as sharing the operating costs of the Montréal métro’s extension to Laval, which should also be viewed in a long-term, overall perspective, regardless of the source of these contributions. Finally, for Montreal, reaching an agreement over a financial framework for public transportation must necessarily include the settlement of certain issues, as their financial impact unduly adds to the fiscal burden of Montréal taxpayers. Specifically, I am referring to some financial compensation to the city for school transportation,” added the STM Chairman and Mayor of Verdun Borough.
As far as the métro extension to Laval is concerned, Mr. Trudel ended by saying: “…I want to be very clear with everyone about this: the Montréal metro, and make no mistake, it is the Montréal metro, not the Laval métro, will not operate in Laval until the matter of funding for that portion has not been settled to both the city’s and the STM’s satisfaction.”
“I will go even further: should our operational testing, which incidentally is progressing rapidly and satisfactorily, should it be completed before the matter of funding is resolved, the Montréal métro would still not operate in Laval. Understand me: passenger safety notwithstanding, the City of Montréal and the STM have made the issue of a financial settlement a sine qua non condition to opening up the Laval section of the Montréal metro.”
– 30 –