230 km of preferential measures for buses Montréal gives the green light to one of the world's largest transit priority networ

Press release

230 km of preferential measures for buses
Montréal gives the green light to one of the
world's largest transit priority networks

Montreal, 20 July 2005 - The Chairman of the Board of Directors, Claude Dauphin, and the STM Director General, Pierre Vandelac, today announced that the City of Montréal’s Executive Committee has authorized the establishment of a Transit Priority Network for Montréal (Réseau prioritaire Montréalais). With new electronic traffic light controls and complementary measures introduced along 15 strategic roadways between now and 2009, STM buses will be given priority over cars, thanks to a head start of a few seconds, thus ensuring better customer service. According to Mr. Dauphin, « these flexible traffic controls will give public transit a competitive edge and allow the STM to directly act upon the speed and flow of its bus service, which could produce a 10% increase in ridership along these targeted roadways. »

How will it work?

The STM will add a detection system to existing traffic lights, which will activate an additional lens featuring a vertical white rectangle, nicknamed candles, giving buses the priority. When the light is red, the bus will be allowed to depart six seconds ahead of cars. If the light is green, it will be extended by six seconds to allow the bus to cross the intersection. « The system will be operational all day in both directions. It already exists in other large cities in Canada, the United States and Europe, but this is the first time it will be integrated into a comprehensive traffic management design in a grid type road system like the one in Montréal, » added Mr. Dauphin.

Phased-in implementation extending throughout transit’s operating area

For this part, the Director General, Pierre Vandelac, indicated that this project ties in with the 2004-2008 Business Plan drawn up by the STM to increase customer satisfaction. He explained that the designated roadways were chosen based on their heavy ridership levels and the potential benefits to transit users, including an estimated 10 to 20% reduction in travel times. He went on to explain that the priority network would be implemented in several phases. Scheduled for 2005-2006, the first phase will cover 104 km along the following five arteries: SAINT-MICHEL, between Henri-Bourassa and Hochelaga, the A-25, between Maurice-Duplessis and Sherbrooke, ROSEMONT, between Saint-Denis and Pie-IX, BEAUBIEN, between Saint-Denis and the A-25, NOTRE-DAME EAST, between Raoul-Jobin and Berri. The second phase, planned for 2006-2007, will centre on the PIERREFONDS, SHERBROOKE WEST, A-20 and HENRI-BOURASSA roadways. The third one, which could extend into 2009, will target the CÔTE SAINT-LUC, JEAN-TALON EAST, SAUVÉ, CÔTE-VERTU, CAVENDISH, LACORDAIRE and GRENET traffic arteries.

In step with the City’s commitments

According to Mr. Dauphin, « this project is in keeping with the City’s commitments in favour of public transit, as per the policy outlined in the Transportation Plan, the Urban Development Plan, and the Strategic Plan for Sustainable Development for Montréal tabled in April. It has been approved by the Boroughs and the ministère des Transports du Québec, who will finance up to 75% of the project. »

The first phase, valued at some $12 M, includes the design, engineering, equipment and installation costs. Overall, the project is estimated at nearly $35 M. Work will be done in close collaboration with the City of Montréal and affected boroughs, and will be carried out simultaneously with another city project aimed at upgrading traffic light controls.

The Transit Priority Network will also extend the bus stop zones by 10 m, bringing their overall length to 40 m, and include new road markings and the installation of dedicated road signals.

The concept for Montréal’s Transit Priority Network was developed by the STM in collaboration with Trafix and will be implemented by a consortium that includes Dessau-Soprin, Trafix and Tecsult. According to these experts, the STM will become a world leader as far as giving priority to buses at intersections equipped with traffic lights.
Le Réseau Prioritaire Montr�alais de transport en commun Icon of a PDF document PDF  Document (266 K) (In French)

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