Montreal, November 17, 2003 The Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal, on behalf of its some 7,000 members, is very concerned about the impact of the strike by Société de transport de Montréal (STM) employees.
No transit service outside rush hour and on weekends means less traffic and that spells trouble for the vitality of the commercial arteries in the city, particularly downtown. It also penalizes users of the transit system, stated Benoit Labonté, president of the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal.
The Board of Trade is also worried about the effect this labour conflict will have in the medium term, since it has come just when the STM is facing major financial difficulties, substantial fare hikes are in the works, and users are contending with a growing number of service-related problems arising from an aging system.
Our public transit system is a critical component of the precarious balance that exists among the various modes of travel, commercial traffic and road freight movement, not to mention environmental concerns. At a time when it is so important to maintain, and even increase, public transit traffic so painstakingly built up over the past few years, the risks that the service will be viewed as costly and unreliable are high, added Mr. Labonté.
The Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal has some 7,000 members. Its mission is to be the leading group representing the interests of the Greater Montreal business community. Its objectives are to maintain, at all times, relevance to its membership, credibility towards the public and influence towards government and decision-makers. The Board of Trade relies on its three service branches - Info entreprises, the Electronic Commerce Institute, and the World Trade Centre Montréal - to offer specialized services to the greater business community.