02/06/2014 19:22 EST | Updated 04/08/2014 05:59 EDT

STM scales back 747 airport shuttle service

If you take the 747 express shuttle from downtown Montreal to Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport, you might want to double-check the schedule.

The STM has scaled back the number of runs the bus makes.

Officials at Montreal’s public transit corporation say they have to reduce the number of buses due to a shortfall in the budget.

STM vice-chairman Marvin Rotrand says the shuttle service has become a victim of its own success.

“It had too much service in 2012, 2013,” said Rotrand.

Last year, the shuttle bus that links downtown Montreal to the airport on Montreal’s West Island made 1.4 million trips — that's double the number of trips than when the service was created four years ago.

So the STM added more rides.

“What that led to was that some buses were under-utilized while others were later on crowded,” Rotrand said.

STM officials say the reduction in buses is not a cutback, and that the new schedule is better synchronized to flight arrival and departure times.

Airport officials taken by surprise

Officials with Montreal’s airport authority Aéroports de Montréal (ADM) say the shuttle service was cut back almost overnight.

“Just one morning we had people waiting at the bus stop in Montreal — it was -30 C — and they missed the bus. They said, ‘It doesn't matter. There will be one in 10 minutes,’ but then it took 30 minutes,” said ADM spokeswoman Christiane Beaulieu.

The cost for commuters to ride the shuttle is $10 — an increase of $3 since the service started in 2010.

The airport authority says it pays $38 million in taxes to the city each year, and its tax bill did not drop with the corresponding drop in the 747 shuttle service.