New mitigation measures deployed in 2011 to counter traffic congestion and promote public transit

Press release

Montréal, November 21, 2011 –  Société de transport de Montréal (STM) today officially inaugurated new reserved lanes that were announced in the wake of traffic mitigation measures related to reconstruction of the Turcot Interchange and to congestion problems on the island of Montréal. The deployment of these lanes, financed entirely by Transport Québec, will help improve the regularity of bus service and ensure better service for customers.

“Transport Québec feels it is essential that preferential measures for public transportation be implemented prior to the Turcot Interchange reconstruction project. Opening up reserved lanes in the Notre-Dame and Saint-Patrick corridors will encourage the use of public transit and hopefully create better commuting habits before main construction work starts in 2013,” declared Pierre Moreau, Québec Transport Minister.

“ With so many projects coming out of the woodwork in Montréal, it’s crucial that our Administration spares no effort in implementing concrete measures to help road traffic flow more smoothly and make access to downtown easier. Thanks to the cooperation of both MTQ and STM, Montrealers will benefit immensely from the establishment of the new reserved lanes. Indeed, the transit network’s access and reliability will be improved, and the lanes will help speed up travel and commuting for transit users. All in all, a service improvement that makes choosing public transit even more attractive!, ” declared Michel Bissonnet, Montréal’s executive committee member responsible for transportation.

“ Reserved lanes and bus preferential measures on Montréal’s roadways are essential to improve the quality of our service. Given that traffic will become increasingly heavier, we are staying on track with our goal of improving service through better on-time performance. Such measures help us raise the satisfaction level of current customers, while convincing a number of motorists of leaving their car behind and using public transit. Today, we are inaugurating 26.2 km of reserved lanes on the island of Montréal for 2011, in the Saint-Patrick, Notre-Dame, Sherbrooke East and Jean-Talon East corridors, in addition to a section of Highway 20. And another 100 km or so of new reserved lanes will be added along 10 other corridors in 2012, extending reserved lanes to more than 240 km, ”, declared Michel Labrecque, Chairman of the STM Board.

Deployment of reserved lanes within the framework of mitigating measures
The STM has completed the deployment of reserved lanes for buses and taxis along the Notre-Dame and Saint-Patrick corridors, thereby concluding the implementation of mitigating measures planned for 2011 in the Highway 20 corridor, taking into account the section of highway between 55th and 32nd Avenues.

The reserved lane on Notre-Dame extends 4.5 km from Saint-Pierre to Monk heading east only. The one on Saint-Patrick, 6.9 km long, runs from Monk to Atwater heading east, and from Monk to Dollard heading west. Set to be opened from 6 to 10:30 a.m. and from 2:30 to 7 p.m. on weekdays, the reserved lanes will make it possible for transit users to enjoy more regular and competitive service compared to travelling by car. Established by the MTQ, the reserved lanes will also lead to improved schedule adherence for bus lines travelling along them, including the 173 – Métrobus Victoria, 190 – Métrobus Lachine, 191 – Broadway / Provost, 211 – Bord-du-Lac, 221 – Métrobus Lionel-Groulx and 747 – Express Bus

Covering only 2.2 km, the eastbound-only reserved lane on Highway 20 between 32nd and 55th Avenues is set to be opened from 6 to 10 a.m. and from 3 to 7 p.m., Monday to Friday, and be used by the 211 – Bord-du-Lac, 221 – Métrobus Lionel-Groulx and 747 – Express Bus.

Two reserved lanes for the city’s road system (BRT)
The STM is also introducing a reserved lane along Sherbrooke East. The 7.4 km-long corridor extending from 47th Avenue to Marien will open for public transportation vehicles and taxis heading west from 6:30 to 9 a.m. and later heading east from 4 to 6:30 p.m., Monday to Friday, including the 182 – Métrobus Sherbrooke, 184 – Métrobus Bout-de-l’île, 186 – Sherbrooke Est and 430 – Express Pointe-aux-Trembles bus lines.

Scheduled for mid-December, the 5.2 km reserved lane on Jean-Talon East will extend over two sections, from Des Halles to De Bellefeuillle, and the second from De Cannes to 12th Avenue, from 6:30 to 9:30 a.m. heading west. The eastbound lane runs from 13th Avenue to De Cannes and from Langelier to Des Halles, from 3:30 to 6:30 p.m., from Monday to Friday, used by the 93 – Jean-Talon, 141 – Jean-Talon Est buses and the 188 – Couture bus along Jean-Talon Est. In 2011 alone, the STM and MTQ will have deployed bus preferential measures over 40.8 km, including 36 km of reserved lanes.

Over 100 km of new reserved lanes in 2012
The STM plans on deploying over 100 km of new reserved lanes along the Côte-de-Liesse, Côte-Vertu, Pierrefonds, Sherbrooke (in downtown), Viau, Newman, Des Sources, Hymus, Brunswick and Saint-Charles corridors. In addition, the STM is set to introduce three Express bus lines to connect the West Island to the métro, in the wake of reserved lanes being deployed to that end.

“ This vast project is part of a series of initiatives set to improve the speed and comfort of bus transit along major corridors. By gradually combining express lines, reserved lanes, bus priority measures at traffic lights and intervening at specific locations were traffic jams, we can plainly see they are successful. In fact, experience shows us that together, these measures will lead to significantly shorter travel times of 15 to 30%, ” said Michel Labrecque, in closing.

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