Montreal Island (the core of the Montreal region) boasts of a city bus network, a subway system (hereafter, the metro), and a commuter rail system serving the entire metropolitan region. Eventhough Montreal has one of the highest public transit riderships in North America, some places in the Montreal area are not served by public transit as adequately as they could be. Rampant automobile use has generated problems like traffic congestion, urban sprawl, and automobile-generated emissions which could be reduced by public transit usage. Public transit is essential for those without cars.
Montreal’s 2008 Transportation Plan forecasts a minimum 8% increase in transit ridership by 2012, and a minimum 26% increase in ridership by 2021. The Transportation Plan seeks to upgrade the metro system fleet, increase the capacity of metro lines, and make that system cleaner and more accessible to the disabled. That plan also calls for the creation of a contemporary, efficient tramway system running along some of Montreal’s busiest arteries, and also a bus rapid transit system that would run on dedicated rights-of-way along some other busy arteries.
As for regular city buses, the plan proposes expanding the bus fleet, and introducing articulated buses on some of the busiest routes; it also seeks to create reserved bus lanes and more express bus routes, along with making the buses more attractive and sustainable. Moreover, the plan calls for improving paratransit service for people with limited mobility.
The Montreal Transportation Plan has prioritized the following individual projects to expand transit options in the Montreal region:
● Extending some of the metro’s lines eastward and northward;
● An additional commuter rail line, serving the eastern sector of Montreal Island and points east in the Montreal metropolitan area (all of which have lacked commuter rail up until now);
● A rail shuttle between the airport and downtown (a bus route linking the two areas has been recently developed);
● Improving bus links between Montreal Island and off-island suburbs.
What are the best options for optimizing public transit in and around Montreal?
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