The Société de transport de Montréal (STM) is pleased to announce that it has signed an agreement with the eight taxi industry service providers who carry out about 88% of trips in its paratransit service.
The taxi industry is currently facing a labour shortage and significantly increased operational costs. With this in mind, the STM reviewed and improved the terms of its contractual agreements to better support these partners and indispensable allies in sustainable mobility and paratransit in Montréal.
“The STM is working in concert with our taxi industry service providers to implement more attractive working conditions for drivers and secure trips for our paratransit customers,” says Éric Alan Caldwell, Chair of the STM Board of Directors. “This service is essential for the inclusion of seniors and people with disabilities in our society. The taxi driver shortage must be taken seriously, and this agreement alone will not be enough to address this societal issue. The STM will continue to work with our partners and the government to find sustainable solutions for providing efficient, quality paratransit service and quickly reinstating our zero refusal policy.”
Agreement with eight taxi industry service providers
The six-year agreement signed by the STM and the taxi industry aims to:
- Maintain the current pool of drivers providing paratransit.
- Attract new drivers to meet the needs of returning and growing ridership.
- Remain competitive with comparable contracts.
- Collaborate with taxi companies by implementing pilot projects to attract new drivers.
In just the first year of the contract, the taxi industry will receive $7.4 million in additional sums.
Since August 15, the STM has had to implement the following measures to mitigate the effects of the taxi driver shortage on its paratransit service:
- Travel companions are no longer permitted. However, parents of customers ages 14 and under are still permitted to join rides.
- Trips in the larger metropolitan area have been limited to prioritize on-island ones.
The STM understands that these measures have an impact on its customers and is working in tandem with its partners to find sustainable solutions.
Paratransit at the STM
The STM has provided door-to-door paratransit service for people with disabilities since 1980. Around 29,000 customers use the service to travel on and around the Island of Montréal, with 86 STM minibuses providing 12% of trips and eight regular and accessible taxi services providing 88% of trips.