- Montreal's STM metro and public bus network released its 10-year budget today, indicating changes we can expect to see around the city in the next decade.
- More public buses in Montreal will be hybrid and more metro stations will have cell service — it's good news all around.
- For details and highlights of the budget, take a look below!
If you are like most Montrealers, you've probably got yourself an OPUS card and the Montreal STM is probably a pretty big part of your city life. Public transit reigns supreme with most people who live in the city centre, but even those who stretch out to the outer boroughs often do so with help from a metro line or bus route. So it's exciting news that the STM has released its 10-year budget today and, honestly, things look good.
Sure, I've got my rose coloured glasses on and, sure, they help obscure the sight of water pouring like a waterfall down the stairs of Square-Victoria-OACI. So, sue me.
I can't help but get a little excited about public transit.
It's the way of the future, it's super good for the environment, and Montreal has always been a little obsessed with this collective mode of transportation.
Which is awesome, and it's also awesome to see the STM laying out a pretty solid plan for how it's going to actively work to make the whole system better moving into the future.
And, obviously, Mayor Val Plante is right there cheering them on.
This 10-year budget is expected to cost $17.8 billion, of which $48.6 million will be spent next year, in the year 2020.
The 2020 budget is meant to increase and improve service.
By the end of next year, we should see 17 new Azur trains in the metro, meaning the green line should be 80% new trains, along with the expansion of cell phone network connectivity to all metro stations.
In the more long term, the STM has a list of nine projects that it hopes to see brought to life by the end of 2029.
In addition to the 300 new hybrid buses the STM is already adding to its fleet, its hopes to purchase nearly 1,000 more between now and 2024, meaning by that time, the STM's bus fleet could be somewhere near 70% hybrid.
It's also working out a rapid bus transit service between stations Côte-Vertu and Sauvé so that commuters can more easily get from one end of the orange line to the other. History in the making.
The STM is also making considerable efforts to increase accessibility, something that Montreal needs to address nearly everywhere at this point.
The company intends to have 41 stations equipt with elevators by 2025.
The budget summary also mentions a couple things we've already seen rolling out, like the addition of validators at the back of buses, which is a game-changer for buses that do big pick-ups at metro stations and other transportation hubs.
As part of the 10-year budget, STM Chief Executive Officer Luc Tremblay said, "by developing our offering and ensuring the reliability of our infrastructure, we ensure that public transit plays a leading role in the fight against climate change, by providing a growing array of alternatives to single-occupant car use."
We couldn't agree more.