The objectives of the Strategic Plan for the Development of Public Transport of the Regional Metropolitan Transport Authority (ARTM) for the next 10 years are ambitious: to increase the service offer by 60%; increase from 25% to 35% the share of public transport during the morning rush hour; and reduce car trips by 14%. Goals that come with an invoice that could be around $ 45 billion.
Presented by the ARTM on October 27, at the launch of a vast public consultation process, the Strategic Development Plan (PSD) is the result of a three-year consultation between stakeholders in the transport sector, elected officials and many citizens. This is the second major initiative of the ARTM, the first being the tariff redesign process, for which public consultations ended on October 23.
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The first actions prioritized by the ARTM for 2021-2023 will be, among other things, to carry out major infrastructure projects already underway such as the REM, to deploy reserved lanes and preferential measures for buses and to complete the planning of modes of transport. structuring, including in the axis of boul. Taschereau and the extension of the yellow line.
A significant portion of the 60% increase in services over the next 10 years will translate into an improvement in existing services, particularly by bus and particularly to the northern and southern crowns.
The ARTM wants to almost double the current services of Exo, whose offer is currently much less interesting than that of the large centers. All in order to improve east-west travel.
“This is why the reserved lanes are so important,” indicates the executive director of transport planning and mobility of the ARTM Daniel Bergeron. We can expect their numbers to explode over the next few years. ”
Significant efforts are being made, first to increase the number of reserved lanes on the motorway network, in order to improve travel from the periphery, but also on the arterial network, with the addition of reserved lanes or preferential measures. as priority departures at certain intersections.
The ARTM targets, among others, highways 10, 20 and 30; the boul. Cousineau, du Quartier, Grande-Allée and Rome in the agglomeration of Longueuil; Chemin Saint-Jean in La Prairie; and boul. from Anjou and Saint-Jean-Baptiste to Châteauguay.
The objectives of the PSD are accompanied by additional costs that border on $ 45 billion for the next 10 years, i.e. between $ 28.3 billion and $ 36.7 billion in capital costs and between $ 7 billion and $ 8.8 billion in operating costs.
Major additional investments will therefore be necessary, with the current budget of $ 3.4 billion of the various transport companies that make up the ARTM only making it possible to ensure the service already in place and maintain the assets.
But where will this money come from?
“The current financial framework is based on four sources: governments, users, municipalities and motorists,” explains Daniel Bergeron. Can we ask for more from either source? Can we add sources? We are currently working to answer these questions with the government, ”he explains, adding that the PSD is in line with the Quebec policy on sustainable mobility.
Travel disrupted by the pandemic
While current ridership is only 30% of usual figures due to the pandemic, the ARTM expects a return to normal around 2022. Financial losses for the next three years, due to the declining revenues and costs related to COVID-19, are estimated at $ 1 billion. Losses that additional government assistance should largely compensate.
“We have given ourselves a period of three years to find a balanced budget, but everything will depend on the resumption of traffic,” says General Manager Benoît Gendron.
“We are quite confident, however, adds the general manager. Previous global crises, such as the bombs in the London Underground, have shown that once over, there is a reappropriation of public transport services by the population. ”
Despite the impact of the pandemic, the ARTM maintains that it is necessary “to look beyond this since there is always an urgent need to act to respond to environmental challenges while ensuring the economic and social vitality of the metropolitan community. “.
However, the ARTM has given itself a 4-year period of time for the implementation of the PSD, i.e. between 2031 and 2035, to be able to adapt in the event of a greater impact of the pandemic or any other crisis.
“Improving the quality of life of citizens involves, among other things, a clear reduction in road congestion and a substantial improvement in the public transport offer,” recalls the mayoress of Longueuil Sylvie Parent. Fluidity has positive impacts: it promotes economic and social development while consolidating the urban fabric. That’s why I make it my priority. ”
The ARTM talks about improving the environment and public health; strengthening the attractiveness and economic vitality of the region; and a reduction in road congestion and GHG emissions.
Extensive public consultation
The ARTM will hold a major public consultation process, which began on October 27. The draft PSD is available online for consultation; information webcast meetings will be held on November 10, 11, 16 and 17; briefs may be filed by December 14, then presented in hearings in January; and comments will be collected by mail, email or online.
All aimed at adopting the PSD by the ARTM Board of Directors in March 2021.
Info .: rethinking mobility.quebec.
Three orientations broken down into six strategies
The Strategic Development Plan is built around three orientations which are broken down into six strategies.
- Connect the various communities of the metropolitan region with the help of efficient services.
- Deploy diversified mobility options offering a simplified and attractive experience.
- Promote efficient use of resources while strengthening the resilience of the system.
- Organize mobility according to the structuring collective transport network.
- Link public transport to land use planning.
- Ensure a public transport service offer adapted to needs.
- Innovate to improve the attractiveness of public transport.
- Optimize the use of the transport system.
- Ensure the resources necessary for the operation and resilience of the public transport system.
The territory of the ARTM
- 83 municipalities
- 4000 km2
- 4 million inhabitants (nearly half of the population of Quebec)
- 1.8 million jobs
- 8 million trips every day
The ARTM network
- 4 transport organizations: the Société de transport de Montréal, the Réseau de transport de Longueuil, the Société de transport de Laval and Exo
- 4 metro lines, 68 stations and 271.4 million trips
- 6 train lines, 62 stations, 20 million trips
- More than 600 bus lines, more than 40 million trips
* based on 2018 annual ridership data
- Budget of $ 3.4 billion
- Governments (38%)
- Users (28%)
- Municipalities (27%)
- Motorists (5%)
- Others (2%)