Fears about the financial impact of REM on the transport companies

News 13 July, 2017
  • Photo Agence QMI, Photo Courtesy
    The light rail System (SLR), which will be built to the electrical Network, metropolitan (REM) of the Caisse de dépôt.

    Laurence Houde-Roy

    Thursday, 13 July, 2017 21:02

    Thursday, 13 July, 2017 21:02

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    MONTREAL | The canadian taxpayers Federation is concerned about the reduction in income that may result from the future train of the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec on the transportation companies of the Montreal area and wonder about the blurring that persists among decision-makers about the electric Network-metropolitan (REM).

    “There are strong chances that the arrival of the REM will contribute to decrease the congestion in the transit network current. We fear we do not include the losses of income from clients that could result, said Thursday, Carl Vallée, the quebec director of the canadian taxpayers Federation.

    “We hope that organisations will have the means to adjust”, he continued.

    The Bureau d’audiences publiques sur l’environnement (BAPE) said in a report last December that “almost all of the traffic on the REM would come from current users of public transport”.

    It is also expected to cut the deux-Montagnes line, the busiest of the current network of commuter trains, to be replaced by the one of the lines of the REM.

    Blur authorities

    Carl Valley has asked the ministry of Transport of Quebec (MTQ) has held a study or calculations on the financial viability of other modes of public transportation in Montreal after the arrival of the EMN. The MTQ has referred to the Caisse de dépôt, which she replied that she did not document on the subject.

    Last October, the Agence métropolitaine de transport (AMT), which has since become the metropolitan transit system (RTM), responded to the BAPE be unable to assess the impact of REM on the income and the expenses of its organization, since the Fund had not yet completed his traffic studies.

    The RTM says today that it has made preliminary studies on the fluctuation of ridership that could result from the REM, but said that these details “are not of a public nature”.

    The Société de transport de Montréal (STM) responds that the study on the impact of REM on the income of transport companies of the region is ongoing.

    “The REM is a beautiful project, that they applauded, said Mr. Valley. But we think that the government has the responsibility to anticipate the impact it may have on other modes of transport. It is worrying that we don’t know these answers, this is what we want to sound the alarm.”

    He was concerned about the flexibility of the transport companies, “which have collective agreements are too rigid”, he said. “If revenue decreases, costs must also decrease accordingly,” he added.

    Income according to the service

    The regional Authority of the metropolitan transport, which works to harmonize the transport of the greater Montreal region, acknowledged that the REM will have an impact on ridership, but indicates that since the month of June, the transportation organizations are financed according to “the service offered to customers, not on ridership of these services.”

    “The overall risk remains the same, that is, to see the decline in traffic will translate into the loss of revenue from customers”, replied Carl Valley.

    When asked if the revenues and profits of the REM will be shared with the networks of transport, the Authority replied that the building on the question are to come.

    “If the REM makes a profit, they should go in the bottom of wool Quebecers. It is up to the organisations to adapt,” said Carl Vallée.