The STM’s 2023 budget and 2023-2032 Capital Expenditures Program: adapting and equipping the STM to take on current and future challenges

Press release

The STM is releasing its 2023 and 2023‑2032 Capital Expenditures program.

Montréal, November 28, 2022 – The Société de transport de Montréal (STM) is releasing its 2023 $1.7B budget aimed at providing Montrealers with optimized services that meet mobility needs in a challenging financial context. The STM is also unveiling its 2023‑2032 Capital Expenditures Program, with which it plans to invest $20.4B to allow the STM to better address the challenges of the post-pandemic recovery and position itself as a mobility option of choice for the coming decade.

The STM’s success despite the challenges

“The STM is facing major financial challenges in 2023 related to the economic climate and funding issues affecting public transit. While the pandemic transformed travel needs and habits, our target is to maintain a level of service similar to 2022. However, to do so, we will have to find additional means that align with this goal. The planned budget measures are in keeping with our commitment to ensuring sound management, while continuing to preserve the appeal of public transit by improving its performance and contributing to its sustainability,” says Marie-Claude Léonard, Chief Executive Officer of the STM.

Despite the streamlining efforts made in the past few years and the STM’s resolve to limit an increase in current expenditures, the STM estimates its losses for 2023 at $77.7M. Most of this increase is due to three key elements:

  • The global indexation of  compensation and goods and services in an inflationary context
  • The significant rise in cost per trip and the increase in basic fares for paratransit service
  • The additional unavoidable operating expenses to ensure reliable and safe service, some of which were postponed in 2022

Among the investments postponed as part of the last budget year and planned for 2023 is the start of the major AZUR train maintenance programs needed to ensure their reliability and maximize their useful life.

An adapted service offer
The STM aims to provide a level of service similar to 2022 in 2023, and constructive discussions are currently underway with the STM’s financial partners to identify solutions. In the interest of sound management, the STM will put forward an enhanced service offer for the first months of 2023 while awaiting funding confirmation. ​This includes targeted adjustments following a careful analysis of several parameters, such as service frequency, crowding and travel needs. It will be possible to readjust the service offer during the year should the financial parameters change.

Aware of the critical importance of paratransit service in allowing registered customers to travel and play an active role in society, the STM continues to perform despite funding issues by planning 3.4 million trips in 2023, a 15.6% increase over 2022.

More 2023 budget highlights

  • Continuation of the electrification strategy, with the planned acquisition of a predetermined quantity of 147  long-range electric buses
  • Addition of a train on the Yellow line to promote mobility during work on the LHL Tunnel
  • Rollout of the inclusive metropolitan mobility strategy, with the goal of training 500 customers
  • Implementation of bus priority measures across the entire network as part of Mouvement bus
  • Continuation of accessibility work in the métro, with the goal of making 30 stations accessible by 2025

2023-2032 Capital Expenditures Program

A recent update of the PAGTCP financial aid program, including an enhanced subsidy rate for specific project categories, allowed the STM and the City of Montréal to increase their financial capacity. As a result, the STM is putting forward an ambitious but necessary Capital Expenditures Program of $20.4B, an increase of $4.4B.

The STM is therefore continuing to grow its investments significantly. Over the next five years alone, it will invest $10.0B in infrastructure maintenance and development, compared with $8.1B over the past ten years. The electrification of bus network infrastructure, the Blue line extension, the ongoing installation of elevators in métro stations and an increased level of investment in asset maintenance programs are the major reasons behind this increase.

“The priority projects are essential to ensuring that the STM evolves to better respond to the challenges of the post-pandemic recovery and be able to position itself as a mobility option of choice over single-occupant car use. We’re focused on value-added investments that will generate short-term benefits for current customers and dividends for future generations. We’re aware of the importance of public transit in the fight against climate change, and it’s necessary to act now,” says Éric Alan Caldwell, Chair of the STM Board of Directors.