"The STM contributes to the sustainable development of Montréal and Québec in two ways," said Michel Labrecque, Chairman of the Board of Directors. "First, because the service it provides offers citizens an efficient, safe, environment-friendly mode of travel, while also helping to improve quality of life. And second, because it acts responsibly by integrating environmental, social and economic considerations into all of its activities and business processes."
One of the priorities outlined in the Plan is to improve service to maximize the benefits of public transit. In fact, the STM is targeting a 40% increase in ridership, to reach 540 million trips in 2020.
The acquisition of 468 new Azur metro cars, the purchase of a further 316 hybrid buses and the addition of more than 200 km of bus priority measures (reserved lanes and priority traffic lights) will definitely contribute to achieving this objective. The bus priority measures alone, which will total 370 km in 2020, will mean time savings of 15% to 20% on the routes affected. As well, the percentage of trips that are partially or totally powered by electricity (metro, hybrid bus, electric midibus, trolleybus, tramway) will grow from 69% to 86%.
Other measures to enhance service, such as installing bicycle racks on more buses and adding 300 new bicycle parking spaces near metro stations and bus terminals, bringing the total to 3,500 spots, will continue to promote a mix of modes of transit, or transportation cocktail, as well as intermodality.
To foster universal accessibility, an additional $87 million will be invested in the bus and metro system, making travel easier for people with functional limitations by adding elevators, installing new accessible bus shelters and improving public address systems in stations, for example. The STM will also keep up its ambitious employment equity program which has given it a workforce where 21% of employees come from visible and ethnic minorities, and 24% are women.
The Sustainable Development Plan lays out a series of measures intended to reduce the STM's ecological footprint. First, by improving its environmental management system, based on the ISO 14001 standard, but also by increasing the residual-material recovery rate from 63% to 80%, in line with the objectives set by the Québec government and the city of Montréal.
In addition, all new construction projects will aim for LEED certification. This is already true of the new Stinson transportation centre, currently under construction, which is designed to LEED Gold standard¾a first in Canada for this type of building.
Finally, the STM will continue improving its social, environmental and economic performance through its procurement processes. It will establish a sustainable procurement policy that incorporates recent experience in integrating sustainability criteria into various calls for tenders, such as those for the Azur metro cars and Legendre body shop.
"Certainly, we have a major challenge before us if we want to become one of the world's best transit authorities. But we know that integrating environmental, social and economic considerations into our practices will enable us to reach this goal, and remain an exemplary corporate citizen that places sustainable development at the top of its priorities. Our Sustainable Development Plan truly reflects this commitment," Mr. Labrecque added.
The Plan is available at http://www.stm.info/english/en-bref/a-pdd2020.pdf