Financial troubles aside, Montreal's public transit services won't be cut this fall
Despite some bumps in the road, Montreal's public transit agency (STM) says it won't have to cut its services this fall.
At a press conference Friday morning, STM officials confirmed they received a $26.5 million bump in funding from the ARTM, which oversees transit in the Greater Montreal area.
This means the services outlined in this year's budget will go ahead as planned in the fall of 2023, including the addition of dozens of departures to roughly 75 bus routes.
"Thanks to the joint effort of our partners and the STM teams, we can now ensure that we will continue to deliver appealing public transit services that meet the mobility needs of Montrealers," said STM CEO Marie-Claude Léonard in a press release.
The STM said all metro services would also be maintained, in addition to its plan to hire more security and custodial personnel.
In November of 2022, the STM anticipated a nearly $78 million shortfall in its finances for 2023, prompting fear of service reductions.
"Things have changed. transit needs post pandemic are not the same as what they were pre-pandemic so we have to adapt," said STM board chair Éric Alan Caldwell.
The agency says it cut around $18 million in spending to cushion the tab, which, coupled with the ARTM funding, will prevent such a fate.
"We said we'd do it, and we're doing it. With the funding in place, we [will] be able to provide the service offer as planned for the coming fall," said Caldwell. "People need to get around, people want better transit to get around."