STM 2023 Annual Report : A year marked by a significant return in ridership

Press release

The Société de transport de Montréal (STM) released its 2023 Annual Report today, which shows a significant return in ridership on its networks, with a 21% increase compared to 2022, for a total of 288 million trips.

For the STM, 2023 was also a year of transition, with a new management team and a new organizational structure that maximizes collaboration and agility, laying the groundwork for a more people-focused, efficient and sustainable STM. Combined with the development of its 2030 Strategic Organizational Plan, these moves have helped the STM solidify its role as a leader in sustainable mobility.

“Although remote working has reduced travel frequency for many people, our customers still choose public transit to get around,” said Chief Executive Officer Marie-Claude Léonard. “That’s why it’s so important to provide more people-focused, efficient and sustainable services for everyone. The resurgence of large-scale events, leisure activities, and tourism has helped drive the recovery in ridership, which even reached one million trips per average weekday in the fall.”

With these new figures, the STM ranks third among transit agencies in Canada and the United States in terms of ridership and second for its métro network, according to the American Public Transportation Association.

More comments and complaints as ridership increases

The increase in ridership in 2023 was accompanied by a 10% increase in the number of comments and complaints filed with the STM compared with the previous year. However, there was an 8% decrease in the number of complaints per million bus trips and an 11% decrease per million métro trips.

A total of 37,943 complaints were handled. The increasingly complex social landscape has had an impact on customers’ sense of safety, particularly in the métro, and consequently on the number of complaints. That’s why the STM’s strategy for 2023 was to increase the visibility of staff and strengthen the organization’s ability to intervene by adding 20 new special constables to the network and creating the role of safety ambassador to support customers.

A balanced budget in a difficult financial context

The STM also worked hard in 2023 to control spending and achieve a balanced budget, stepping up its initiatives to optimize expenditures by more than $57 million. While awaiting an indexed, recurring funding formula, the STM continued to have constructive discussions with its partners to identify new revenue streams and introduced a commitment to generate $100 million in recurring expenditure reductions over the next five years without impacting service levels to customers.

High-frequency lines

In 2023, the STM grouped 31 bus lines that run frequently under a new banner called “high‑frequency lines.” These lines are marked in purple to make it easier for customers to spot them within the network. The 31 high-frequency lines alone account for more than 50% of current ridership.

The STM also added 12.7 km of new bus priority measures (BPMs) and new priority traffic lights at 150 intersections, with BPMs now covering a total of 485.8 km. In 2023, 34% of bus trips made use of reserved lanes and 39% made use of priority traffic lights.

Essential network modernization

By 2030, 93% of the STM’s infrastructure will be over 40 years old and will need to be modernized so the STM can continue to provide reliable, comfortable and safe transportation for millions of people at all times.

The STM is fully committed to modernizing the network, making it more resilient to the effects of climate change and integrating new technologies. A number of projects have been completed, including accessibility work at McGill station, the construction of a ventilation shaft at Rosemont station, and the construction of the Alexandre-DeSève mechanical ventilation station.

New this year: International benchmarking
As part of its commitment to efficiency and transparency, the STM participates in an international benchmarking exercise. The results complement internal management indicators and help identify strengths, areas of concern, best practices, and key areas for improvement. The STM is committed to publishing the results of this process on an annual basis, starting with the 2023 Annual Report. Three themes have been established as priorities: service reliability and quality, productivity, and financial performance.

An organization focused on sustainable development
The STM has reduced its greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions by 2.5% compared with 2022 and increased the proportion of hybrid and electric buses in its fleet from 43.3% in 2022 to 44.4%. GHG emissions per passenger-kilometre have decreased by 19.8% compared with 2022 due to an increase in ridership and, to a lesser extent, a reduction in GHG emissions.  In addition, the STM’s new Crémazie building received the Canada Green Building Council’s Gold LEED certification for new buildings (LEED–NC).

“2023 was a year of return to normalcy following a pandemic that hit us hard,” said Léonard. “We made significant efforts to ensure sound budget management, while maintaining appealing public transit services that meet the mobility needs of our customers. We’ll face many challenges in 2024, including funding, which demands a solution if we want to maintain an attractive service offering.”

View the STM’s organizational reports: (in French only)

Rapport d’activité 2023 

Rapport financier 2023

Rapport 2023 du Plan stratégique organisationnel 2025 et de son complément, le Plan de transition et relance

Rapport 2023 du Plan d’accès à l’égalité en l’emploi

Rapport 2023 du Plan de développement d’accessibilité universelle

Rapport 2023 de développement durable