STM plans for 2025 include long-gestating blue metro line extension
The STM unveiled its vision for the future on Tuesday and that includes extending the metro’s blue line and adding more electric buses to Montreal’s streets.
The transit authority released its organizational strategic plan, which lays out its objectives between the present day and the year 2025.
The plan calls for $28 billion in funding, $8 billion of which will come from the provincial government and $20 billion from the federal.
Coderre said the additions to the plan would not come with extra cost to Montreal taxpayers or transit system users.
“We already, through the finance plan, made sure it’s not an extra burden for municipalities or for the users,” he said.
Coderre said he hopes Montreal transit users will be able to customize their commute by 2025, being able to choose between the metro, an expanded bus system, the coming REM light rail system, BIXI and car-share services. Exact details of any new bus routes and the specifics regarding the blue line extension were not yet made public.
While the plan calls for more of the new Bombardier-produced Azur metro cars, STM President Philippe Schnobb acknowledged there were production delays on the initial order. He assured Montrealers that the next batch are set to arrive on time in 2018 and said he has no concerns of similar delays taking place as the new plan is put in place.
“We’re following the project every month at the board meeting,” he said. “It’s going well.”
However, city hall opposition is not convinced. Projet Montreal transport critic Craig Sauve said he’s “skeptical,” citing dips in public transport ridership and budget cuts to the STM early in Coderre’s administrations.
“The objectives the administration gave for the plan in 2020 were not even met and they’re not likely to be met,” he said. “For me, one of the key things is the lack of buses that we need in the system. That’s one of the clear indicators of how much capacity we’re able to offer to riders. These are clear indicators this administration will propose what they want in the new plan, but they haven’t been able to pass muster so far.”