- Critics are taking aim at STM CEO Luc Tremblay's salary increase, a reward some say he does not deserve.
- In fact, the director's salary is enough to pay for over 5,000 monthly fares — enough to last 435 years.
The STM's Executive Director, Luc Tremblay, received a 13.8% salary increase, bringing his total salary to $452,160, according to the Journal de Montréal, enough to pay for approximately 5,227 $86.50 monthly OPUS card fares. That's roughly 435 years of riding the STM and by that time, climate change will have destroyed us all. Critics have lamented Tremblay's salary and his recent contract renewal to 2022.
In fact, Montreal's opposition party, Ensemble Montreal, is calling for the STM's executive staff to be fired after years of what they call "a major failure to deliver service."
Currently, in the midst of a bus shortage, the STM is scrambling to ramp-up maintenance efforts for some 1,400 buses that should be on Montreal's roads.
In some parts of the city, bus service has slowed to a crawl as crews work around the clock to repair a rapidly ageing bus fleet.
Because of this, maintenance crews and bus drivers are overworked and in some cases, drivers are working over 80 hours a week, in a constant state of "dangerous fatigue," according to an explosive June report from the Journal de Montréal.
The STM's 2020 Budget claims that the company will increase bus service by a record 5% next year and metro service by 2.6%.
"Over the next 10 years, close to $17.8 billion will be invested in asset maintenance and development," said Tremblay.
Next year, 300 new buses will be deployed. Along with these new buses, the STM will introduce 17 new Azur metro cars.
Between now and 2024, the STM plans to have introduced 963 hybrid buses, including an additional 465 buses on reserve.
Many in the organization credit Tremblay for turning the company around. Since he first arrived in 2015, there has been a 15% increase in ridership and huge improvements in bus and metro service.
The results are obvious and in gratitude, the board of directors unanimously voted in favour of Tremblay's contract renewal and salary increase. Still, many former employees and critics say that the results don't reflect reality.
This year, bus shortages during rush hour reached an all-time high, with close to 35% of buses showing that dreaded "hors service" every day, according to JDM. On any given day, the city is short by over 100 buses during peak times.
Public perception of the STM is not that positive (for the most part) and it doesn't help the company's case that nearly every day, there are metro delays (mostly the result of passenger actions) and missing buses.
Tremblay claims that "by developing 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."
Perhaps Tremblay and his team can purchase a few of those 5,000 monthly passes that his salary can pay for and wait for a bus that never shows up in -35 degree weather.
What would you do with a salary of $452,000?