By Brendan Kelly, September 30, 2013
MONTREAL - The Parti Québécois government announced Sunday it will
add 208 kilometres of reserved bus lanes in the greater Montreal area,
at a cost of $84 million. Provincial Transport Minister Sylvain
Gaudreault also said that the provincial government will up its
financing of these reserved bus lanes from 75 per cent to 100 per cent
of the cost.
Prior to this, the different transportation bodies,
like the Société de Transport de Montréal (STM), footed 25 per cent of
the bill for creating these reserved bus lanes.
Michel Labrecque, who is chair of the board of the STM, said this is great news for the city.
be able to accelerate the amount of service with the same number of
buses because the buses will come back quicker,” Labrecque noted.
Labrecque said reserved bus lanes are the best way to alleviate the congestion on the streets of Montreal.
will never convince a guy alone in his car to take the bus if he sees
the bus stuck in traffic,” said Labreque. “To convince him, I need to
show him efficiency and predictability.”
Gaudreault noted that
they will be doubling the number of kilometres of reserved bus lanes in
Montreal over the next two years with this initiative.
The Transport Minister said that traffic congestion in Quebec is costing the province more than $1.5 billion a year.
need to help our citizens get to their work more rapidly,” Gaudreault
said. “All of the world’s major urban centres have reduced their traffic
congestion by creating reserved bus lanes and Montreal shouldn’t be any
different from any of the other cities around the world.”
announcement was made Sunday afternoon by four PQ Ministers. In addition
to Gaudreault, the heavy-duty lineup included Jean-Francois Lisée, the
minister responsible for Montreal; Marie Malavoy, minister responsible
for the Montérégie region; and Nicole Léger, minister responsible for
“Traffic congestion is not just a psychological problem,” Lisée said.
it puts us in a bad mood and a bad mood is certainly not the default
position for Quebecers. So we have to create the conditions to put
people in a good mood. But it’s also an economic problem and an
Both Gaudreault and Lisée talked of how
this initiative will significantly lower greenhouse gas emissions since,
in theory, there will be less cars on the roads of Montreal.
“It’s about changing the model from single-car travel to collective transportation,” Gaudreault said.
said the most pressing need is right at the centre of Montreal, but
that all areas of the greater Montreal region would be receiving new
reserved bus lanes.