10/29/2014 06:15 EDT | Updated 12/29/2014 05:59 EST

STM delays the introduction of new metro cars to 2036

The STM will slow down the introduction of new metro cars for the next 22 years.

Montreal’s public transit corporation says older metro cars will be phased out, but not replaced immediately. That means the cars currently rolling on the tracks will have to last until 2036 -- or 60 years after they first started running during the 1976 Olympics.

"It's about what should we do with the money we have," said STM Chairman Philippe Schnobb, adding the trains are reliable enough to keep on running.

"We can wait 20 years, and in 20 years we're pretty sure that we can give the same kind of service. Instead of investing in a new train, we will invest in changing our electrical system, changing our pumps, changing what needs to be changed to give better service." 

The STM says keeping old trains on the track is a good deal for taxpayers.

“If you compare that to buying new trains, it's much cheaper to do that,” said STM Chief Executive Officer Carl Desrosiers, adding that the move will save about $500 million.

Next year 52 new AZUR metro cars, built by Bombardier, will roll out as scheduled.

The new cars will go on the orange line, and the older cars on the orange line will be moved to the green line.

The STM says it will spend $108 million on regular maintenance of the older cars.

“We will continue to do good maintenance on the trains. We realize those trains are very reliable," said Schnobb, adding that the older trains are involved in only about one out of 10 service disruptions.