» Montréal plans to spend hundreds of millions on a new busway. Is it spending too much for what it will get?
Though Montréal has significant Metro and tramway expansion plans, its next new transit line will come in the form of a bus rapid transit line down Boulevard Pie-IX on the east side of the city. The city hopes that the creation of a “bus highway” connecting into the suburban city of Laval would be able to attract about 70,000 daily users. The project, which includes the construction of new stations and dedicated lanes along the entire Montréal side of the 15 kilometer corridor, would cost some C$305 million — or about U.S. $32 million a mile.
Montréal’s new line will share many features of the Express Pie-IX, a bus line whose contra-flow bus movements were blamed for the deaths of several bikers and pedestrians
Continue reading How is Besançon Building a Tramway at €16 million/kilometer? »
» Washington releases preliminary information about bike-sharing station locations. Are they positioned to succeed?
After the opening earlier this year of major bike-sharing systems in Denver and Minneapolis, Washington expects to relaunch its own program this fall. Working with Arlington County, Virginia, the U.S. capital will replace the only marginally successful 100-bike, 10-station SmartBike DC network installed in 2008 by Clear Channel with a 1,100-bike, 114-station system using Montréal’s Bixi technology, also under development in London, Boston, and Melbourne. Washington’s success, along with that of the several other American cities currently pushing these public cycling systems, will determine whether similar networks will spread to large and medium-sized cities across North America.
This recent focus on bike-sharing is a response to the strong public reception to systems in European cities like Paris and Barcelona, where thousands of people hop on the publicly owned vehicles everyday. In the French
Continue reading Ensuring the Efficient Workings of a Bike-Sharing System »
» Just a month after city commits to streetcar network, three metro extensions are put into play.
In the early 1990s, Québec’s ruling Liberal Party stopped funding extensions of the Montréal metro after having built four lines to serve the dense island’s core since 1966. The rise of the Parti Québecois in the mid 1990s allowed for the completion of one more expansion: northwest to Laval, which was served by three new stations by the time the project opened in 2007 to wild success. Despite its diminutive length of only 40 miles, Montréal has built North America’s most ambitious inner-city rapid transit scheme outside of Washington, D.C., serving the third-largest number of passengers overall behind New York and Mexico City and attracting the second-highest ridership per capita behind New York.
The network’s popularity has not been unnoticed by politicians at the municipal and provincial levels. Just months
Continue reading Montréal and Québec Leaders Announce “Irreversible” Decision to Expand Métro »
» City’s transit network would be reinforced with downtown and Côte des Neiges streetcar line.
Montréal was on a roll in the post-war period, opening its brand-new metro system in 1966, hosting the Universal Exposition in 1967, and providing a home for the Olympic Games in 1976. Charismatic Mayor Jean Drapeau wanted to define the metropolis as one of the most important in the Western hemisphere, building sports stadia and the like to provide physical evidence of the city’s importance. In the late 1970s, during the rise of the Québec sovereignty movement and the creation of French language laws, however, Montréal lost its status as Canada’s largest city to Toronto. Ever since, the town has been struggling with its identity.
But the city’s administration thinks it has a solution. Even as its perennial rival invests in a large network of new light rail lines and subway extensions, Montréal has
Continue reading Montréal Moves Forward with Tramway, in Line with Hopes for Improved Livability »
A New York-bound route would attract far more passengers than one heading for Boston.
Montréal is one of North America’s most appealing cities and it’s only a few dozen miles from the border. As a result, both American and Canadian politicians have been arguing for the expansion of rail service from the metropolis south into the United States. Yet, after decades of work, little of consequence has actually been completed. But with stimulus funds for high-speed rail soon to be distributed, it’s worth considering what routes would be most appropriate for possible service.
In 2000, at the request of the states of Massachusetts, Vermont, and New Hampshire, the Federal Railroad Administration designated the Northern New England route as an “official” high-speed corridor. This series of lines would include connections between Boston and Portland, Boston and Albany, Springfield and New Haven, and Boston and Montréal. The three states began studying a connection with
Continue reading Connecting Montréal to the American Rail Network »