Pie-IX Boulevard is one of the Montreal metro area’s most frequented roadways. It passes by important locations such as the Parc Olympique, the Maisonneuve-Rosemont Hospital, and educational institutions. It is on this corridor that the City of Montreal wants to set up a BRT (Bus Rapid Transit) in the coming years in order to transport more than 70,000 passengers daily.
This project is being directed jointly with the AMT (Metropolitan Transport Agency) and is one of the Transportation Plan’s most important developments. The City of Montreal will be responsible for the reclassification and urban development of Pie-IX Boulevard in order to create a new, high-quality environment, resulting in secure and welcoming spaces.
What is a BRT System?
A BRT is a means of public transportation that uses specially reserved bus lanes. It is just as much a public transportation project as it is an urban development project. The system consists of a bus running along reserved lanes, and it makes use of comfortable and secure stations, as well as wide access platforms. It should be added that it also makes use of information panels that display timetables and routes, as well as the system’s status, in real time. As we see, Montreal is following the examples of cities like Washington D.C., Vancouver, and Nantes, which have implemented this mode of transportation with a great deal of success.
A Service Offering Optimal Security
The BRT of Pie-IX Boulevard was designed to offer optimal security. Among the system’s features:
- It is clearly identifiable thanks to the color of the roadway;
- It runs with the flow of traffic;
- It is reserved exclusively for bus use;
- It has easily identifiable pedestrian crossings;
- It features 3m wide platforms; and,
- It is fitted with digital pedestrian crossing lights.
A Rapid and Efficient Means of Mobility
The BRT buses, which will operate in the center of Pie-IX Boulevard, will occupy a permanent space in each traffic lane. Thanks to 24/7 service, users will benefit from reliable, fast, and comfortable service. It should also be noted that some alterations, as well as a special sign system will be put in place in order to ensure the safety of pedestrians, passengers, and cyclists, especially at the intersections where stations will be installed.
The Advantages of the Pie-IX BRT
The BRT of Pie-IX offers several advantages. These include:
- Optimal security thanks to lanes oriented in the same direction as car traffic;
- 24 hour and 7 days a week service;
- Accessibility for handicapped individuals;
- Reliability and speed due to the fact that it runs in its own lane;
- Amount of time saved for users could range from 5 to 20 minutes;
- There is a public transportation desert in the east of the Island of Montreal;
- An efficient link between east Montreal and downtown, as well as with Laval; and,
- A high-quality urban development project on the Pie IX Boulevard together with a reduction in automobile traffic.
High-Quality Urban Development
The installation of the BRT will generate large urban development projects on this important Montreal roadway and more particularly in the neighborhoods that it crosses: Montréal-Nord, Villeray-Saint-Michel-Parc-Extension, Rosemont-La-Petite-Patrie, and Mercier-Hochelaga-Maisonneuve. Traffic islands will be installed, sidewalks will be widened, trees will be planted, and new street lamps will adorn the boulevard. These new developments will come to improve the quality of life in these neighborhoods of the north and east parts of the city.
The BRT will have an impact on the reduction of automobile traffic on this main road, the redevelopment of Pie-IX Boulevard, as well as the redevelopment of the neighborhoods that it crosses, all the while offering quality service and safety for users. It is regarded as one of the best transportation projects for the Montreal metropolitan area.
In which situations would a BRT system be preferable to other transportation systems such as light rails or standard bus networks?
Original article, originally published in French, here.
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