2010 Budget: Québec sends a clear signal in favour of public transportation

Press release


2010 Budget: Québec sends a clear signal in favour
of public transportation

Montréal, March 30, 2010
The STM is pleased by the important measures for public transit set out in the budget tabled today at the National Assembly by the Finance Minister, Raymond Bachand. The measures are a positive response to vigorous demands by the chairman of the Communauté métropolitaine de Montréal (CMM) and mayor of Montréal, Gérald Tremblay, who is responsible for reaching an agreement in principle pertaining to issues related to a metropolitan financial framework, metro extensions, fares and governance.

The budget thus authorizes the CMM to increase the tax on gas by a maximum 1.5 cent that must be earmarked for public transit in the Montréal area. It also includes a one-cent increase in the tax on fuel as early as April 1, as well as similar increases for the next three years throughout Québec.

“On the one hand, the 1.5-cent increase will help solve most of public transportation’s structural deficit in the Montréal area. On the other hand, the one-cent annual increases over the next four years will help to continue with improving and expanding the offer of service. This is excellent news for public transportation in the Montréal agglomeration,” added Michel Labrecque, Chairman of the STM Board of Directors.

Indeed, as part of pre-budget consultations initiated by Québec’s Finance Minister, Raymond Bachand, the STM had tabled a report on the strategic role that both the STM and public transit could play in Québec’s economic recovery and GHG reductions. The STM had proposed an ambitious plan, in which it would carry out 540 million trips by 2020 (compared to 382.8 million in 2009), that would prevent the emission of 780 000 tons of GHGs. It is of the opinion that the tax on gas should be increased by up to 13.2 cents a litre to finance new public transit modes, such as tramways and trolleybuses, already included in Ville de Montréal’s Transportation Plan. In that sense, the announcement of the introduction of a Politique industrielle pour le développement d’une filière des véhicules électriques (Industrial Policy for the Development of Electric Vehicles), including electric buses, is also welcome news.

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