Despite the pandemic and a still significant drop in ridership in 2021, the Réseau de transport de la Capitale (RTC) has a balanced budget of $ 250.2 million for 2022 and is continuing the effort to electrify and diversify its network. service offer.
Starting next year, the RTC will quadruple its fleet of self-service electric bicycles. Close relative to the Montreal Bixi, the à Vélo network set up in 2021 will then have 40 stations and 400 bicycles.
The Flexibuses will also make their appearance in the landscape of Quebec and its periphery. The RTC intends to deploy this new transport service on demand in the northern periphery of its territory, namely in Notre-Dame-Des-Laurentides, Saint-Émile, Lac Saint-Charles, Val-Bélair, Loretteville, Montmorency, Wendake.
Together, these two new services will cost the RTC $ 2.7 million in 2022.
As of next year, Quebec will begin its conversion to an electric bus fleet by testing three buses manufactured in Quebec by Nova Bus, a subsidiary of the Volvo Group. Expected at the end of 2022, these buses, leased and fully electric, will be tested for three years.
The RTC, like other transportation companies in Quebec, must electrify their facilities under the Plan for a Green Economy 2030 presented in 2020 by the Legault government. It forecasts a 37.5% drop in its GHG emissions by 2030 compared to those of 1990.
The electrification of transportation, responsible for 43% of greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere in Quebec, is the centerpiece of this sustainable strategy.
Premier Legault is planning $ 5 billion to help transport companies acquire electric buses.
The RTC, by 2030, plans to procure 200 fully electric buses at an estimated cost of $ 550 million.
The network plans to inject $ 144 million, by 2031, into the establishment of the Réseau express de la Capitale. Concretely, these sums will be used for the creation of reserved lanes and preferential signage dedicated to public transport, as well as the deployment of Parc-o-Bus.
Over the past two years, the Québec transport network has acquired 150 hybrid buses, a measure that has enabled it to reduce its fuel consumption by 9% in 2021.
A balanced budget… thanks to assistance from Quebec
The budget presented Thursday by the Réseau de transport de la Capitale avoids being written in red ink thanks to emergency aid of $ 19.7 million. The RTC is also counting on an increase in ridership to boost revenues from its users by $ 8 million in 2022.
The network expects to regain 80% of the attendance observed before the pandemic. The RTC had made the same prediction for 2021 by missing its target, with peak attendance rarely exceeding 60% in the coming year.
“Before the pandemic, the RTC, we were on fire,” said the director general of the RTC, Alain Mercier. “Even today, the losses are significant. “
The board of directors of the RTC has yet to study the tariffs in effect in 2022. A price increase is not excluded.