Press release: $130 million per year to boost ridership by 8%: A policy that maximizes the economic spin-offs of public transit

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Added on 16 June 2006 in Press releases

Press release

$130 million per year to boost ridership by 8%:
A policy that maximizes the economic spin-offs of public transit

Montreal, June 16, 2006 – The Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal is delighted with the Quebec government’s new policy on public transit, particularly its decision to invest $130 million per year in the improvement of services.

“Given that 90% of public transit users in Quebec are located in Greater Montreal, this is particularly good news. Public transit is clearly fundamental to the quality of life and appeal of the metropolis, as well as key to the mobility of workers, students, and tourists,” declared Isabelle Hudon, president and CEO of the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal.

“For these reasons, the Board of Trade has repeatedly stressed and documented the economic benefits resulting from the use of public transit. And these benefits can be maximized by increasing the market share of public transit compared to car trips.   From this point of view, earmarking new investments for the improvement of services seems to us to be an excellent idea, as it is the best way to attract new users and boost ridership,” continued Hudon.

“The identification of performance objectives – starting with an 8% increase in ridership by 2012 – is another promising component of the policy. As cost effective as public transit can be for the community, it is important to direct new investments toward actions that will generate the highest return. Indeed, it is interesting to note that a 2% increase in the market share of public transit produces $150 million in economic spin-offs for Greater Montreal,” added Hudon.

“The combination of the investments announced today and those resulting from the transfer of federal gas tax revenues bodes extremely well for the development of public transit. Nevertheless, as profitable as these investments may be, we continue to hope they will be carried out without increasing the burden on taxpayers,” concluded Hudon.

The Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal has some 7,000 members. Its mission is to represent the interests of the business community of Greater Montreal and to provide individuals, merchants and businesses of all sizes with a variety of specialized services to help them achieve their full potential in terms of innovation, productivity and competitiveness. The Board of Trade is the largest private organization in Quebec dedicated to economic development.

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For information:
Sylvie Paquette
Coordinator, Media Relations
Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal
Tel.: (514) 871-4000, ext. 4015
sylvie.paquette@ccmm.qc.ca