Montreal delays further subway car replacements due to budget constraints

MONTREAL – Montreal’s transit authority is delaying the replacement of more than 400 second-generation subway cars delivered in the 1970s until 2036 due to budgetary constraints.

The Societe de transport de Montreal (STM) said Wednesday it will extend the life of the Bombardier-built subway cars to 60 years.

The transit agency has earmarked $108 million over 20 years to maintain 423 cars, more than half their fleet total, instead of spending $1.9 billion for 558 new cars by 2020.

The decision won’t affect the $1.2 billion order for 468 subway cars from a Bombardier-Alstom consortium, starting the second quarter of 2015.

Bombardier Transportation (TSX:BBD.B) said it is waiting to learn more details before it can determine the impact on its operations.

“It’s another episode in this and we need time to figure out what it means,” said spokesman Marc Laforge.

He said the current Montreal subway contract ensures employment at its plant in La Pocatiere, Que., until 2018.