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The Societe de transport de Montreal (STM) announced last week that it ended fiscal-year 2014 with an operating surplus of $3.9 million (in Canadian dollars).That figure came within 0.3 percent of the agency's overall $1.4 billion budget for the year, agency officials said in a press release.They attributed the surplus to hiring freezes in mid-2014, as well as improved maintenance work on the Metro subway.Delays in carrying out major projects, such as introducing new AZUR metro cars, have reduced capital expenditures as well, STM officials said."Although the consolidated financial statements being presented are showing a slight surplus for 2014 thanks to considerable efforts by the STM, these solutions are short-term and do not solve the problem," said Luc Tremblay, interim chief executive officer of STM. "Indeed, the investments required over the next three years to maintain and renew our infrastructure total nearly 2.5 billion dollars."Tremblay has been serving as the agency's interim leader following Carl Desrosiers' firing in December 2014. Although Desrosier was nearing retirement, agency officials didn't believe he represented STM's future, according to the Montreal Gazette.STM Chair Philippe Schnobb noted that the agency faced a $33 million shortfall at the start of 2014. He also highlighted that the agency achieved an 89 percent customer satisfaction rating.
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