Trois-Rivir0065s, September 8, 2000 - The drivers for the Des Forges Inter-City Transit Corporation (DICTC) are sounding the alarm about unprecedented cuts to passenger service in the Greater Trois-Rivir0065s Area. These cuts will be adopted early November by the DICTC administrators.
Encourage High-Quality Mass Transit
This measure goes completely against the general trend of encouraging high-quality mass transit to relieve congestion in urban corridors, to fight drinking and driving, and to reduce pollution. The DICTC is using a projected deficit of $348,000 in 2001 as the pretext for these cuts. However, we have submitted other mid and long-term solutions to them, declared Luc Giroux, President of Local 4115 of the Canadian Union of Public Employees (CUPE-QFL).
The DICTC wants to reduce service from every half-hour to every hour, starting at 8 pm, while this reduced service only comes into effect at 10 pm. This cutback in service would also apply on Saturdays from 6 am to 10 pm, without mentioning the complete suspension of service on lines 5 and 7 after 8 pm, a measure which will affect more than 52,000 users, who will be obliged to walk long distances to reach other lines.
This large cutback in service, in addition to having an undeniable impact on the safety of users, does not take into account the closing time for businesses and services, and could have a major impact on economic activity as well as on the publics access to services, said Luc Giroux.
Citizens and Users Must Fight Back
We ask all users and citizens in the Greater Trois-Rivir0065s Area to sign a petition that our members will be passing around all over town, starting today. This petition is aimed at not only avoiding the planned cutbacks, but it also invites the DICTC to increase its service to the public, an increase in service that would not be costly, if the corporation took into consideration our proposals, emphasized Mr. Giroux.
Realistic and Applicable Solutions
Setting up an adequate Sunday service and extending Saturday service until 1 am on Sunday would mean an additional $320,000 in costs. When added to the projected shortfall of $348,000, this would increase the projected 2001 deficit to $668,000. As for the solutions submitted to the DICTC for additional sources of financing, they would generate almost $710,000.
Here are the proposed solutions:
A strict policy to eliminate fraud, especially through the introduction of a users ID card, like the one in use in other mass transit systems (a saving of $115,307);
Permitting advertising on the 30 bus shelters currently in use, at a cost of $800 per shelter ($24,000 in income);
A $2/month increase in bus pass fees (50 cents a week), ($127,292 in increased income);
Income from extended Saturday and Sunday service ($92,793 in increased income);
A minimal increase $10/year for municipal taxes (20 cents a week) ($350,000 in increased income).
These solutions come to $709,392. The creation of a regional lottery, in collaboration with Loto-Quebec, called the Lotobus would adequately and permanently finance a high-quality mass transit system.
The cutbacks proposed by the DICTC are very short-sighted, and will have no permanent effect if we have similar shortfalls in 2002, 2003, etc. Why not adopt sustainable solutions right now?, asked Ren 0046rc0068ette, the CUPE representative responsible.
Source: Canadian Union of Public Employees (QFL)
Luc Giroux (819) 370-7218
Ren 0046rc0068ette (514) 893-0634
Louis Cauchy (514) 384-9681 ext. 270