Bus network redesign

Three virtual public information sessions this fall (French only)

More information sessions will take place in 2021

Rethinking the bus network

Between now and 2026, a number of major public transit projects will be commissioned, including the REM, the Pie-IX BRT, the Blue line extension and the expansion of our fleet of buses with the addition of 300 vehicles. Deployment of these projects, along with urban development, will have an impact on how you use bus service. Now is therefore the ideal time to rethink the bus network to make it even more attractive and better adapted to changes on the Island of Montréal.

Overview of the steps completed so far

The bus network redesign project is intended to be collaborative, we are rethinking it together. We recently achieved two milestones:

Web consultation with the general public

We conducted a major survey in the fall of 2018. It was aimed at measuring the importance of various factors related to the bus network architecture, such as walking distance to a bus stop, bus frequency, bus-to-bus transfers and trip time. Close to 19,000 people took part in the survey, and the findings helped us identify your priorities. Find out more about this web consultation in the Project steps section below.

Globally, you want frequent service.

Strategy behind tomorrow’s bus network

We will therefore make service frequency the cornerstone of tomorrow’s bus network, with a view to making the network more attractive while maintaining accessibility for one and all. How will we do that? By following five guiding principles, to be applied differently depending on needs in the various parts of the city.

Promote frequent service

More buses and greater frequency will let you get where you want to go without advance planning.

Unlike personal vehicles, buses are available according to predetermined schedules and on specific routes. You therefore have to plan your trip. Higher bus frequency will reduce how long you have to wait at a bus stop and total trip time. If a high-frequency bus line is available at almost any time of day, that means no more need to consult schedules and plan ahead! Frequent service also mitigates the negative impact in the event of an incident. On a high-frequency line, if a bus is delayed or can’t make its planned trip, you can take another bus on the same line without having to wait very long.

Provide efficient transfers

Transfers with less waiting time, for a more comfortable trip.

Transfers are one of the main sources of frustration for public transit users. They can have a negative impact on your comfort and travel time. Transfers from one bus line to another are sometimes inevitable, as people leave from different starting points and their destinations vary. Seeing that transfers can’t be avoided, it is important to reduce waiting time as much as possible. How can we do this? By organizing the network so that as many transfers as possible are between high-frequency lines.

Prioritize direct, linear routes

This type of route makes it easier for you to understand the bus network, by helping you know where you are headed and making your trip more efficient.

Frequent service on a direct, linear bus line often means shorter travel time and more predictable service. On top of that, it is easy for us to enhance service on a linear route — for example, by providing express bus service as well as regular service during higher-ridership periods such as rush hours.

The right bus in the right place at the right time

Choice of vehicle adapted to ridership during a given period.

In addition to regular buses, we use articulated buses and shared taxibuses. On a typical day, the scope of the population’s needs in terms of mobility varies widely. In addition to adjusting the level of service, the STM could make better use of its array of available vehicles and, at times, even consider more frequent deployment of on-request service.

Maintain routes to neighborhood destinations

So all our customers have adequate access to the territory.

Bus frequency isn’t the answer to all needs. Local service is also required for full coverage of the territory and to meet travel needs within individual neighbourhoods. Local lines have different advantages than high-frequency lines: they minimize walking time, create links between different neighbourhoods and can connect isolated sectors.

In addition, aside of our bus network redesign project, we will look into how to improve service quality and comfort for seniors.

Information sessions and public consultations

In 2020, virtual information sessions will be held as shown in the following timetable. Each session will be followed by a consultation, you will be able to express your views about the issues in your sector. More sessions are planned in 2021.

Each consultation will be a chance for you to:

  • Watch an information session (live or recorded) on the status of bus service in your sector and the improvement ideas under consideration, and voice your opinion on the situation
  • Ask questions
  • Share your ideas

The registration forms and the public information presentations will be in French only. Feel free to ask questions and share ideas in English.

More information session will take place in 2021

Information sessions in 2020
Sector

The virtual information session for the Lachine-LaSalle sector took place on October 28. The consultation is now over. Read the information and watch the information session
 

The virtual information session for the Sud-Ouest, Verdun, Ville-Marie-Sud sector took place on November 17.
You can read the information, ask questions or share your ideas, you have until December 8

The content is in French only, but you can express yourself in English.

The virtual information session for the Ville-Mont-Royal, Outremont, Côte-des-Neiges sector took place on November 24. You can read the information, ask questions or share your ideas, you have until December 15.

As each sector is different, we plan to hold about a dozen additional consultations between now and 2025. You will thus have a chance to voice your opinion and influence bus service in your sector.

In the lead-up to each consultation, residents of the concerned sector will receive information about the event and be invited to take part.

Steps

We have opted for a collaborative approach for the bus network redesign project. The main steps are listed below. We are currently at Phase III.

Workshops were held in summer 2018 with stakeholders from different areas:

  • environmental and public transit organizations
  • employer representatives
  • mobility and public health researchers and university professors
  • community
  • disabled community/universal accessibility

The STM presented proposals and gathered the participants’ feedback based on the specific situations of the groups they represented and their expertise. We thus confirmed the preliminary focus on rebalancing planning principles revolving around service performance (linearity, high-frequency service) and secondary-line coverage of the remainder of the territory.

An extensive online consultation called “Design a network to fit your priorities” was carried out last fall. The purpose of the web survey was to measure the relative importance of various aspects of the networks’ attractiveness for customers:

  • Walking distance to get to bus stop
  • Frequency of bus service
  • Presence or not of a bus-to-bus transfer
  • Duration of bus trip

Close to 19,000 people responded to the survey, allowing us to obtain a sample representative of all types of clientele.

Watch the video that we made for the web consultation to better understand the different options offered within the bus network’s architecture:

Consult the accessibility page for more info on the external medias.

See Consultation on the bus network redesign on YouTube


In parallel, discussion workshops were held with customers that could have had difficulties filling out the online survey to ensure all groups were represented: seniors, community and visually-impaired.

Main conclusion

For all types of users, the participants identified bus service frequency as the leading consideration, far ahead of the other priorities.

Eight to nine times out of ten, the participants placed greater priority on bus service frequency than on the other three aspects presented. We observed slight differences for certain types of users, but service frequency remained the number-one priority.

People with functional limitations, like the other groups, placed priority on service frequency.

Seniors gave top priority to frequency but were more concerned than the other groups by walking distance.

Residents of the east and west tips of the island gave top priority to frequency but were more concerned than the other groups by total trip time.

The higher the family income, the greater the priority placed on speedy trips.

The first sector consultation was held on Île-des-Sœurs in light of the first phase of the REM, which will arrive in 2021. A participatory workshop was held on April 24, 2019, during which residents and workers from the sector were invited to comment on various scenarios for developing the bus network. See the results (French only).

Gradually, consultations will be held in other sectors of the Island of Montréal between now and 2025.

As consultations are held and the major public transit projects are commissioned, changes to the network will be deployed on a sector-by-sector basis.

Top of page