Addition of 300 buses by 2020: the STM needs to recruit hundreds of drivers
TOMA ICZKOVITS/QMI AGENCY
Tuesday, 9 January 2018 18:23
Tuesday, 9 January 2018 18:30
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Confirming that 300 new hybrid buses will be added to its fleet by 2020, the Société de transport de Montréal (STM) is indicated by the fact that it will be looking for 600 new drivers.
The call for bids, published Tuesday, is being realized in cooperation with several transport companies in the province serving, among others, Saguenay, Longueuil, Laval and Québec city. In all, up to 1525 buses could be purchased by 2024.
However, it is in Montreal that will benefit from “more big purchases planned”, said in a press conference on Tuesday, the minister of Transport of Québec, André Fortin.
This latter has not intended to indicate what portion of the invoice will be paid by Québec, specifying, however, that a program of the Corporation of financing of the local infrastructure, provides for a contribution of the provincial amounting to 85 % of the total amount for certain projects.
The mayor of Montréal, Valérie Plante, was pleased to have achieved one of its commitments headlights during the campaign for municipal, an investment that will help to”provide a transit system more efficient”.
Currently, the STM has 166 hybrid buses for a total of 1807 bus. This number will, therefore, 2107 by the end of 2020.
“This is huge. It represents an addition of 15 % to the fleet of the STM,” said Philippe Schnobb, saying that these buses will have USB ports for charging electronic devices as well as two seats reserved for people in wheelchairs.
During the election campaign, the Valerie Plant had encrypted this investment to $ 225 million, which represents $ 750,000 per bus, in an amount that does not take into account the costs related among others to the hiring of 600 new drivers as well as maintenance personnel.
The leader of the opposition at city hall, Lionel Perez, accuses the municipal authority of a lack of planning by adding buses without having enough garages to store them.
“There is a shortfall of 300 to 400 spaces for buses for the next few years and there has been no concrete response. Why not to have provided funding for a new garage ?” he questioned.
The closure of the garage, Saint-Denis, next year will not be offset in the short term by the opening of the transportation center, Bellechasse, scheduled for 2022, warns the president of the syndicate of bus drivers of the STM, Renato Carlone.
“I don’t think you can enlarge the centres of transportation [existing]. We will need to build new, rent or buy”,-he said.