People waiting on a subway platform as the train arrives
Photo by: Hubert Figuière. Used under Creative Commons license (CC BY-SA 2.0)
CUPE’s Conseil provincial du secteur transport terrestre, which represents thousands of bus drivers and office employees with Quebec transit companies, held its annual meeting this week in Trois-Rivières.

Passenger traffic and fares collected by transit companies have plummeted due to the upheaval caused by the pandemic. Moreover, the rollout of the Réseau express métropolitain has resulted in a substantial decline in the funding of three major public transit companies in the Montreal metropolitan area, the Réseau de transport de Longueuil, the Société de transport de Montréal and the Société de transport de Laval.

At the same time, we have witnessed cuts to transit company funding by the CAQ government and the ever more worrisome interference by the Autorité régionale de transport métropolitain in the management of public transit in the greater metropolitan area, which directly deprives users of quality service.

“It’s not just a matter of protecting our jobs. It’s also a societal choice we must make. Investment in public transit produces socioeconomic impacts that benefit everyone along with the Quebec economy, while offering a credible alternative to the automobile,” said Marc Gingras, the new president of CUPE Quebec’s land transportation sector.

The CPSTT reiterated its request to Minister Guilbault to honour the promises made by her predecessor, François Bonnardel, who committed back in 2021 to taking action to avoid service reductions and to assure users of public transit and personnel.

CUPE Quebec’s land transportation sector is preparing to launch an advertising campaign soon to make the public aware of the importance of providing stable and sufficient funding to public transit companies. Transportation is the second highest budget item for families in Quebec, who have been severely affected by the cost of living.