By Rhonda Massad
Although the Montreal Taxi Bureau (MTB) officially took over from Montreal Police as an independent agency in January 2014, director-general Benoît Gugand has been in place since last March and was subsequently awarded a five-year contract.
Montreal’s 2014 budget has granted MTB a $3.4 million first-time allocation for the coming year.
Gugand explained that the motivation for making MTB independent was to give it autonomy. He stated that 70 percent of the budget is allocated to pay the salaries of MTB’s 32 staff, which includes six top-level managers, including Gugand. The other five senior managers will run the administration, legal, service, inspection and investigation, development and communications departments. One of his first orders of business will be to assess the needs of Montreal’s growing senior population. He said that MTB’s development and communications department will conduct studies to assess seniors’ evolving needs.
“It is important to note that $2.6 million of our budget comes from revenue generated by taxi permits” Gugand told The Suburban. “The goal is for the bureau eventually to be self-financing in the medium-term.”
The remaining $850,000 will come from Montreal and demerged cities’ taxpayers to cover the extra salaries of around $200,000 and rents of about $90,000 for the new offices along with other miscellaneous expenses.
He did not specify what that timeframe will be.
“There are still positions to be filled and it will take some time to determine how long that will take,” Gugand explained. “[MTB] is a new municipal parapublic organization, and we need some time to get the structure in place.”
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