STM’s 2023 budget and 2023-2032 Capital Expenditures Program to optimise transit services in Montreal

Posted: 29 November 2022 | | No comments yet

STM’s new budget will equip the agency to take on current and future challenges, as it works to meet the transportation needs of Montreal’s residents and combat the financial constraints that it has faced post-pandemic.

STM’s 2023 budget and 2023-2032 Capital Expenditures Program to optimise transit services in Montreal

The Société de transport de Montréal (STM) has announced that it has released its 2023 $1.7 billion budget and 2023‑2032 $20.4 billion Capital Expenditures Program, aimed at providing Montrealers with optimised transit services that continue to meet mobility needs in a challenging financial context and allows STM to better address the challenges that it has faced in its post-pandemic recovery.

“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,” said Marie-Claude Léonard, Chief Executive Officer of STM.

Despite the streamlining efforts made in the past few years and STM’s commitment to limit an increase in current expenditures, the agency estimates its losses for 2023 at $77.7 million. According to STM, 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 costs per trip and the increase in basic fares for paratransit services
  • The additional unavoidable operating expenses to ensure reliable and safe service, some of which had been postponed in 2022.

STM aims to provide a level of service similar to 2022 in 2023, and constructive discussions are currently underway with the company’s financial partners to identify solutions. In order to maintain sound management, 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 re-adjust the service offer throughout the year should the financial parameters change.

STM enhances passenger accessibility with new lifts at Pie-IX and Villa-Maria stations

Due to the significance of paratransit services in allowing registered customers to travel and play an active role in society in Montreal, STM continues to provide these services despite funding issues by planning 3.4 million trips in 2023, a 15.6 per cent increase over 2022.

More highlights of the 2023 budget include:

  • Continuation of the electrification strategy, with the planned acquisition of a pre-determined quantity of 147 long-range electric buses
  • Roll-out 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

Through the Capital Expenditures Program, STM is continuing to grow its investments. Over the next five years alone, it will invest $10.0 billion in infrastructure maintenance and development, compared with $8.1 billion over the past 10 years. STM has stated that the electrification of bus network infrastructure, the Blue line extension, the ongoing installation of lifts in métro stations and an increased level of investment in asset maintenance programmes 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,” said Éric Alan Caldwell, Chair of the STM Board of Directors.