The STM cuts its expenses by $18 million to deal with the drop in ridership

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The STM is reducing its spending by $18 million to deal with the decline in ridership

The STM is affected by a shortfall of $60 million, in particular due to the drop in ridership since the COVID-19 pandemic.

The Société de Transports de Montréal (STM) announces a plan to reduce spending by $18 million in 2023 due to a “difficult economic context”, can we read in a press release.

STM teams have worked hard to find ways to cut spending for 2023, while evaluating different scenarios to find recurring savings for the years to come, says the transport company.

The STM ensures that this plan will not affect the service offer for users. These avenues of expenditure reduction will place the STM's new shortfall at $60 million. When the annual budget was tabled in late November, it was valued at $77.7 million.

We have to find the rest of the equation, specifies Éric Alan Caldwell, chairman of the board of directors of the STM, during a press conference. We are confident we will get there, no one wants service cuts.

Mr. Caldwell says there will also be no job cuts, so as not to harm the service offer.

It relies instead on various optimizations such as the reduction of overtime, the reorganization of certain schedules, the postponement of communication campaigns and certain training programs.

“We are calling on our partners to continue discussions and find solutions together. »

— Éric Alan Caldwell, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the STM

This announcement comes at a time when the STM is experiencing a difficult financial situation, attributable in particular to a traffic in its services since the COVID-19 pandemic.

Recently, the company disposed of three executive managements as part of an internal restructuring plan .

In another blow, the STM gave up its promise last month of a maximum wait of 10 minutes for users of certain bus lines. The service had to be readjusted according to the demand on the eight lines concerned.

The STM estimated in November that ridership was about 70% of its pre-pandemic level. The overall forecast for 2023 is in the range of 70% to 80%.

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