Fri. Feb 23rd, 2024

L’ARTM loops sound 2024 financial framework “just barely”” /></p>
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<p class=ARTM had to deal with a shortfall of $203.5 million to complete its 2024 financial framework.

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Faced with a financial shortfall of more than $200 million, the Regional Metropolitan Transport Authority (ARTM) adopted its 2024 budgetary framework at the cost of an effort of $36.4 million from transport companies and a reallocation of 165.5 million originally intended for the development of services and the maintenance of assets.

The 2024 budgetary framework will barely make it possible to maintain a level of service offering comparable to what prevailed in 2023, warns in a press release the Agency which is responsible for planning public transport in the 82 cities of the Metropolitan Community of Montreal , in Saint-Jérôme and Kahnawake.

It's a bit like a bandage for the year 2024. The good news is that we are avoiding the dreaded service cuts. It was a priority for all of us.

A quote from Benoît Gendron, general director of the ARTM

Explaining that the 2024 financial framework was narrowly completed following arduous negotiations, on the eve of the adoption of the budgets of municipalities and public transport organizations collective (OPTC), the ARTM deplores unsustainable budgetary planning conditions.

Faced with recurring operating deficits, the ARTM had to find $203.5 million this year to balance its financial framework while avoiding reductions in service to users.

To achieve this, the Agency had no choice but to reallocate $165.5 million from an initially non-recurring envelope planned to develop and maintain the public transport assets under its responsibility. The ARTM deplores having to mortgage the future by reallocating these non-recurring sums.

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Public transportation services do not break even in Quebec .

The missing $36.4 million comes from an additional reduction in expenses imposed on public transport organizations under the jurisdiction of the ARTM.

Remember that the latter had already had to provide an initial budgetary effort of $80 million.

Despite everything, service agreements with transportation companies must keep the service offering more or less intact in 2024 with adjustments that could be proposed in certain sectors to adapt to travel needs.

A recurring optimization target for annual OPTC spending of $15.6 million was requested to fill the shortfall, bringing their spending reduction efforts to more than $80 million for 2024. The ARTM will for its part reduce its organizational budget by $19.4 million in 2024, adds the ARTM.

The 2024 service agreements also provide for the establishment of performance and quality indicators in order to monitor the evolution of the public transport situation and produce comparative analyzes with other metropolitan regions.

The three objectives of the ARTM

In order to avoid such budgetary contortions each year, the general director of the ARTM, Benoît Gendron, is calling for the rapid establishment of a table of work that would bring together the ARTM, the Ministry of Transport and the Metropolitan Community of Montreal (CMM). Their mission: to identify sustainable and predictable sources of financing for the period 2025-2029.

I believe that no one wants to relive a situation like the one we faced this fall.

A quote from Benoît Gendron, general director of the ARTM

Yet essential to urban mobility and the fight against climate change, public transport does not pay for itself in Quebec, as in several other regions of the world.

For several years, the deficits have been absorbed by the Quebec government, but the latter no longer takes out its checkbook as quickly as before.

The Minister of Transport, Geneviève Guilbault, in fact threw a wrench in the pond in mid-October by announcing that her government would now absorb only 20% of the anticipated deficit of $2.5 billion over five years for public transport companies. of Quebec.

Cities and transportation companies have taken to the barricades, predicting major cutbacks in service if this were to happen. On November 2, Minister Guilbault calmed things down by presenting an offer of $265 million which, according to her, should cover 70% of the deficit forecast for 2024.

The municipalities of Quebec demanded 400 million dollars.

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An overview of the territory under the jurisdiction of the ARTM.

Despite its setbacks, the ARTM will nevertheless be able to count on new revenues in 2024. In addition to the aid of $218 million granted to the ARTM by Quebec this year, the Agency should be able to collect $121.6 million from from January 1, 2024 thanks to the extension of the tax on the registration of passenger vehicles to the entire metropolitan region of Montreal.

Introduced in 2011 on vehicle registration in Montreal, this tax is specifically dedicated to financing public transportation services.

As of January 1, it will be $59 per year for each passenger vehicle registered in the 82 cities of the CMM as well as Saint-Jérôme .

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