To consolidate, disseminate, and gather information concerning the 710 expansion into our San Rafael neighborhood and into our surrounding neighborhoods. If you have an item that you would like posted on this blog, please e-mail the item to Peggy Drouet at pdrouet@earthlink.net

Monday, September 30, 2013

Montreal to get more reserved bus lanes


By Brendan Kelly, September 30, 2013

Montreal to get more reserved bus lanes

Quebec Transport Minister Sylvain Gaudreault announces a program to expand reserved bus lanes during a press conference in Montreal on Sunday.

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.
“We’ll 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.

“I 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.

“We 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.”

The 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 Laval.

“Traffic congestion is not just a psychological problem,” Lisée said.

“Sometimes 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 environmental problem.”

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.

They 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.