STM releases 2024 budget

Dec. 7, 2023
The C$1.77 billion budget includes C$85.6 million in spending reductions, maintains bus and Métro service at 2023 levels and increases paratransit service by 29.5 percent to reach pre-pandemic levels.

Following confirmation of its compensation from the Autorité régionale de transport métropolitain, the Société de transport de Montréal (STM) released its final budget for 2024, which includes C$85.6 million (US$62.9 million) in spending reductions while maintaining its level of service. 

The C$1.77 billion (US$1.3 million) budget maintains bus and Métro service at 2023 levels and increases paratransit service by 29.5 percent to reach pre-pandemic evels, despite funding challenges. 

“The STM is committed to finding potential savings but cannot single-handedly resolve the entire public transit funding problem. It is essential we maintain the level of service and even endeavor to increase it to continue to be an attractive mode of transportation for our current and future customers. It would be unfortunate to break the momentum of the public transit resurgence at such a pivotal point,” said Éric Alan Caldwell, chair of the STM Board of Directors. 

Reduce spending on a recurring basis 

The STM is set on doing its fair share in a challenging financial context and has made considerable efforts to control its expenditures in recent years. 

“In 2022 and 2023, we secured one-time savings of more than C$18 million (US$13.2 million) and C$52 million (US$38.2 million), respectively. In 2024, we’re moving away from one-time savings and toward recurrent measures, by reducing payroll for non-operations employees and managers and decreasing the budget for goods and services. These measures will have long-term effects, which marks a major turning point for the STM,” said Marie-Claude Léonard, STM CEO. 

The STM is completing its budget planning exercise for 2024 with a financial risk of C$46 million (US$33.8 million), which includes an expenditure optimization target in the form of a risk the agency hopes to recover C$35.6 million (US$26.2 million) and an amount of C$10.3 million (US$7.6 million), for which actions must be identified to maintain service. The STM is continuing discussions with its partners to find renewed and viable solutions for the 2024 fiscal year and the long term. 

Regarding the risk to be recovered of C$35.6 million (US$26.2 million), the STM intends to:  

  • Reduce its payroll by four percent, more than the one percent already achieved on positions not related to service delivery: C$24 million (US$17.6 million) 
  • Reduce its expenditures for goods and services: C$9 million (US$6.6 million) 
  • Adjust the special operating budget for specific projects: C$3 million (US$2.2 million) 

In addition to the actions currently being taken, the STM has also committed, for the next five years, to generating a recurring reduction in spending of C$100 million (US$73.5 million), without impacting service to customers.  

Network upgrades: Increased performance and capacity 

For public transit to continue offering its expected benefits, despite the challenging financial context, the STM says it must continue upgrading and developing its networks. By 2030, 93 percent of STM infrastructure will be more than 40 years into its useful life. The 2024-2033 Capital Expenditures Program amounts to C$21.1 billion (US$15.5 billion), up $0.7 billion (US$514 million) compared with 2023. 

STM notes the investments make it possible to optimize the use of existing assets, increase the capability to provide services, improve Métro accessibility and sustain the appeal of public transit without the need to build new equipment.