Sunday, January 17, 2010

Transit Deficit

The STM's deficit is going to balloon in the coming years because of improvements. The STM wants to improve its service and has, but, the government has been underfunding the replacement of older buses and other changes. In our world, the time has come for public transport. The roads are clogged with cars and the pollution is ever-increasing. I would be willing to pay a few extra dollars a year so we can have one of the best public transit services in the world. I would be willing to pay to save the environment. And I would be willing to pay for public transport, the solution to our urban transport problems.
MONTREAL – Enjoy the new buses and the added service while you can, because Montreal's transit authority is veering toward a debilitating deficit that threatens to undo the last few years' improvements if it doesn't get new sources of funding, the directors of the Société de transport de Montréal told a city hall budget panel yesterday.
In a presentation of the STM's $1.09-billion 2010 operating budget, transit board chairperson Michel Labrecque revealed the agency's hidden deficit is $40 million in 2010 and will balloon to $363 million by 2018 because the agency's long-term debt will grow as it replaces its aging fleet of buses and métro cars.
"We need a new, dedicated source of financing that's constant and indexed (to inflation)," Labrecque told the budget committee of the island council that manages common services for Montreal and the 15 island suburbs.

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