Sat. Dec 9th, 2023

&In Montreal, real demonstrators ;call for better funding for public transport

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Users fear a drastic reduction in services due to the financial situation of Quebec's 10 transportation companies.


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A demonstration to denounce sub -funding of public transportation in Quebec takes place Sunday afternoon in downtown Montreal.

Montreal users fear a drastic reduction in services due to the financial situation of the Société de transport de Montréal (STM).

Radio-Canada recently revealed the significant cuts that the STM plans to make if it does not obtain more investments from the Quebec government to absorb its deficit.

Without additional funding, the metro could close at 11 p.m. every day and open at 9 a.m. on weekends, according to information obtained by the public broadcaster. Bus service would also be reduced and some lines could even be eliminated.

Community and environmental organizations, unions, student associations and citizens therefore gathered in front of the office of Transport Minister Geneviève Guilbault on Sunday to express their discontent.

The co-spokesperson for Québec solidaire Manon Massé was among them.

François Legault made political choices not to financially support the needs of transport companies […] What is needed is to improve the service and make prices accessible to people. Because there are people who have no choice, it’s their means of transport.

A quote from Manon Massé, co-spokesperson for Québec solidaire

When you lack money, you cannot make a threat of disruption of service, which would be catastrophic for the entire population of Montreal and the southern and northern suburbs, said Mathieu Murphy-Perron, one of the founders of Vélorution Montréal.

If we want a city that is decongested, a city that is safe, a city that is not too noisy, we need to offer alternatives to the drive-thru culture, -he added.

Quebec's 10 transportation companies are in uncertainty due to an anticipated deficit of $2.5 billion for the next five years. For the year 2024, Minister Guilbault offered to absorb 70% of the deficit.

In the Capitale-Nationale region, the Réseau de transport de la Capitale (RTC) believes it can save the furniture for 2024, explained Sarah V. Doyon, general director of Trajectoire Québec.

But we still don't have an agreement for the next five years for funding, she said in an interview with The Canadian Press.

< p class="StyledBodyHtmlParagraph-sc-48221190-4 hnvfyV">The funds allocated for 2025 to 2028 should be revealed during the next budget, in March, specifies Ms. Doyon.

But we are very worried. The agreement for 2024 has not sent us positive signals for the next four years. We are afraid that the service cuts we were considering will be avoided for 2024, but will only be postponed for 2025.

– With information from Raphaëlle Drouin and The Canadian Press


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