Opposition wants to know who is paying excess costs for 300 new STM buses
Published Tuesday, July 31, 2018 4:31PM EDT
Last Updated Tuesday, July 31, 2018 7:45PM EDT
The opposition at city hall is raising concerns about how Montreal will pay for 300 new hybrid STM buses.
The city and province announced a new public transit project six months ago that includes purchasing the new buses, following up on a campaign promise by Mayor Valerie Plante.
At the time, the estimated cost per buses was about $750,000.
The opposition always maintained it would be more than that – and it turns out, they’re right.
A call for tenders was put out and according to a statement from the STM, the bid from St-Eustache's Nova Bus was approved by the STM's board of directors.
The STM said it was the only bid received and that it met all the requirements. The company said, however, that will cost roughly $1.14 million per hybrid bus.
The opposition said many questions remain unanswered – including who will help pay the excess, in addition to this $75 million per year in operating costs, including drivers and maintenance.
“Everybody is in favour of more services, more buses,” said opposition leader Lionel Perez. “The question is how are we going to pay for it? And what is the model that is going to be used? And to date, they still have not answered these questions.”
The city would not comment specifically, but referred to a plan that was approved back in March to borrow money for an extensive public transit project that included the 300 hybrid buses.
Perez is still calling on the city to be more transparent.
“They should in fact show where, dollar-for-dollar, they are going to pay for it. And if that means an increase in tariffs, then let them explain. Let them justify,” he said.
The first of the new hybrid buses should be on the road by 2020.