Press release: The Coalition métropolitaine pour la relance du transport en commun unanimously agrees that the Mascouche-Terrebonne-Repentigny/ Montreal commuter train project is a priority

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Added on 8 March 2006 in Press releases

Press release

The Coalition métropolitaine pour la relance du transport en commun unanimously agrees that the Mascouche-Terrebonne-Repentigny/ Montreal commuter train project is a priority

Montreal, Wednesday, March 8, 2006 – On March 3, the members of the Coalition métropolitaine pour la relance du transport en commun, chaired by the Mayor of Montreal and president of the Montreal Metropolitan Community, Gérald Tremblay, unanimously agreed that the Mascouche-Terrebonne-Repentigny/Montreal commuter train is a priority project that should be executed in the near term.

The Coalition is asking the Quebec government to provide the necessary funds in its 2006-2007 budget for this project, which is vital for the mobility of people living in the eastern part of metropolitan Montreal.
 
The Coalition is also asking the federal government to confirm that it will continue paying the municipalities a part of the gasoline excise tax and to set aside 25% of this tax for public transit capital expenditures.
 
The Coalition would like the federal government to renew its infrastructure programs and the Quebec government to maintain its financial aid and funding programs for public transit.

Beyond that, the Coalition would like to make sure the governments allocate the additional funds required to carry out maintenance and development projects currently under consideration by metropolitan Montreal: the Montreal-Trudeau/downtown rail shuttle, the SLR A-10, and the metro extension to Anjou. These additional funds would be set aside by the Quebec government in a metropolitan fund dedicated to public transit capital expenditures.

The Coalition reiterated the importance of giving the Montreal Metropolitan Community new diversified tax room to resolve the problem of public transit operating costs.

The Coalition métropolitaine pour la relance du transport en commun was formed in spring 2005 and is comprised of municipal officials and representatives from metropolitan Montreal civil society.

Coalition Members

  • Jean-Jacques Beldié, President, Société de transport de Laval
  • Gaétan Châteauneuf, Second Vice-President, Confédération des syndicats nationaux
  • Johane F. Deshaies, President, Réseau de transport de Longueuil
  • Jean-Luc Labrecque, President, Association des conseils intermunicipaux de transport
  • Richard Lessard, Director, Direction de la prévention et de la santé publique
  • Jean Léveillé, President, Transport 2000 Québec
  • Richard Marcotte, Mayor of Mascouche
  • Marc G. Fortier, President and CEO, Montréal International
  • Isabelle Hudon, President and CEO, Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal
  • Robert Perreault, Executive Director, Conseil régional en environnement de Montréal
  • Lucie Richard, Quebec Director, Canadian Union of Public Employees and Vice-President, Québec Federation of Labour
  • Gérald Tremblay, Mayor of Montreal and President of the Montreal Metropolitan Community
  • Claude Trudel, President, Société de transport de Montréal

INVEST MORE TO DEVELOP METROPOLITAN PUBLIC TRANSIT

Position of the Coalition métropolitaine pour la relance du transport en commun

WHEREAS it is urgent to ensure the development of public transit on the territory of the Montreal Metropolitan Community in order to further economic development, reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve the population's quality of life and health;

WHEREAS the financial requirements to ensure this development are currently estimated at $7.2 billion, including $3.1 billion to maintain the asset base;

WHEREAS the financial requirements to carry out the priority projects identified by the Coalition métropolitaine pour la relance du transport en commun on September 1, 2005 (Mascouche-Terrebonne-Repentigny/Montreal commuter train; Montreal-Trudeau/downtown rail shuttle; SLR A-10; metro extension to Anjou) were recently estimated at $2.4 billion (excluding the Dorval shuttle);

WHEREAS the other public transit development projects currently being contemplated (Longueuil metro extension, Du Parc SLR, completion of the commuter train network, trams) will also require substantial investments that have yet to be calculated;

WHEREAS the final agreement concluded on November 28, 2005 between the federal and provincial governments regarding payment of a part of the gasoline excise tax to municipalities will allow Montreal public transit authorities to collect $353 million between 2006 and 2010;

WHEREAS the Quebec government has decreed that these amounts will be paid through SOFIL;
  
WHEREAS the Quebec government has decreed it will also allocate $79 million to public transit investments through SOFIL for the public transit authorities of metropolitan Montreal;

WHEREAS the Quebec government has decreed that municipalities must also allocate $79 million in order to obtain the funds available through SOFIL;

WHEREAS the conditions set by the SOFIL aid program are intended to encourage investments in local public transit systems;

WHEREAS the conditions set by the SOFIL aid program are insufficient to finance structuring projects that would consolidate the metropolitan public transit system;

WHEREAS the Quebec government has not confirmed it will maintain the amounts it allocates each year to public transit under the MTQ aid program;

WHEREAS funds are available under other existing federal government infrastructure programs, a part of which could eventually be allocated to public transit infrastructures;

WHEREAS the investments mentioned herein entail financial needs not fulfilled by existing programs;

The Coalition métropolitaine pour la relance du transport en commun:

  • Reaffirms the importance of making the necessary investments to maintain and develop (Mascouche-Terrebonne-Repentigny/Montreal commuter train, Montreal-Trudeau/downtown rail shuttle, SRA A-10, metro extension to Anjou) metropolitan public transit;
  • Makes execution in the near term of the Mascouche-Terrebonne-Repentigny / Montréal commuter train project a priority;
  • Reaffirms the importance of granting the Montreal Metropolitan Community new diversified tax room to resolve the problem of financing public transit operating costs;
  • Enjoins the federal government to confirm it will continue paying municipalities a part of the gasoline excise tax and reserve 25% of said tax for public transit capital expenditures;
  • Enjoins the federal government to renew its current infrastructure programs which provide part of the funding required by public transit;
  • Enjoins the Quebec government to maintain its financial aid and funding programs for public transit;
  • Enjoins the governments of Canada and Quebec to allocate additional amounts to allow maintenance and development projects currently under consideration in metropolitan Montreal to be carried out;
  • Enjoins the Quebec government to set aside additional amounts in a metropolitan fund dedicated to the maintenance and development of metropolitan public transit.
  • The signatories of this position agree to continue their discussions within the Coalition métropolitaine pour la relance du transport en commun with a view to ensuring the institutional and financial decentralization of public transit. These discussions will also address the issues and measures to propose in order to increase the modal share of public transit in metropolitan Montreal.

Coalition Members

  • Jean-Jacques Beldié, President, Société de transport de Laval
  • Gaétan Châteauneuf, Second Vice-President, Confédération des syndicats nationaux
  • Johane F. Deshaies, President, Réseau de transport de Longueuil
  • Jean-Luc Labrecque, President, Association des conseils intermunicipaux de transport
  • Richard Lessard, Director, Direction de la prévention et de la santé publique
  • Jean Léveillé, President, Transport 2000 Québec
  • Richard Marcotte, Mayor of Mascouche
  • Marc G. Fortier, President and CEO, Montréal International
  • Isabelle Hudon, President and CEO, Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal
  • Robert Perreault, Executive Director, Conseil régional en environnement de Montréal
  • Lucie Richard, Quebec Director, Canadian Union of Public Employees and Vice-President, Québec Federation of Labour
  • Gérald Tremblay, Mayor of Montreal and President of the Montreal Metropolitan Community
  • Claude Trudel, President, Société de transport de Montréal
 
March 8, 2006