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Highway reserved lanes still mired in study

  • Transit workers say a dedicated reserved lane on Highway 40 would attract more off-islanders to take the bus rather than sit in gridlock.
    Transit workers say a dedicated reserved lane on Highway 40 would attract more off-islanders to take the bus rather than sit in gridlock.
    Photo credit: Phil Carpenter/ The Gazette

There will be reserved lanes on the Trans-Canada Highway between St-Charles Blvd. in Kirkland and Côte Vertu Blvd. in St-Laurent.

However, there’s no word on when those reserved lanes will be built.

The project is mired in the study phase, with a feasibility study completed, but a pre-project, and a security audit yet to be done by Transport Quebec.

“We’ve been asking for this for three years, and we’ve been impatiently waiting for three years,” said Manon Charest, the general manager of the Conseil intermunicipal de transport for the Presqu’île area. “We’re hoping it will be September 2013, and we’re praying hard for it.”

The reserved lanes are part of several public transit measures to be put in place to alleviate congestion expected by the reconstruction of the Turcot Interchange, due to start next summer and last until 2017 or 2018.

However, Brigitte Léonard, a spokesperson for the Agence Métropolitaine de Transport, couldn’t say whether the lanes would be in place by the time construction begins.

Léonard said the reserved lanes are also a temporary measure, but could become permanent if demand is great enough.

Charest said she’s not sure anyone is in a position to say when the lanes will be in place.

“We were at the offices of (Transport Quebec) last week, and no one could tell us when it would be implemented,” Charest said.

She added she is disappointed that the AMT has judged that there wouldn’t be enough demand for a reserved lane starting in Vaudreuil-Dorion.

“Of course the ideal would be to have it start at the Île-aux-Tourtes Bridge,” she said. “I imagine if we show that public transit could be efficient and fast, it would generate many more users.”

She said the CIT’s most popular bus route remains the Express A40, which shuttles people to the Côte Vertu métro station. That line saw a 16-per-cent increase in ridership in 2012 to 135,000 trips. Other buses that would benefit from the reserved lanes are ones that go to CEGEP Gérald Godin and the Pointe-Claire bus terminal.

jmagder@montrealgazette.com
Twitter: @OffIslandNews
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2 comments

  1. This is so silly. “Reserved bus lanes” aren’t the answer to encouraging people to take the bus, perhaps putting more parking at the train station is the more intelligent answer. Didn’t they just redo the 40 less than 5 years ago? It’s a waste of resources to re-redo it, especially when those same resources could be used on PARKING.

    I also think adding a simple 25cent toll to the inbound bridge would also encourage people to take the bus.

  2. I don’t see how a reserved bus lane is going to solve traffic issues, when there is no where to park your car to enable you to take this bus in the first place. Not all residents live walking distance from a bus stop, and others would need to take 1 or 2 buses just to get to the bus which will be benefiting from these lanes on the highway… and then take a metro and in some cases ANOTHER bus to get to where they are trying to go.

    Perhaps the true answer would be to see where traffic issues begin, and work on fixing the source of the problem instead of slapping an expensive band-aid on (just to see that in the end, most commuters prefer the reliability of their own cars as opposed to the surprise when the bus is late, or when it skips a bus) (<– which has happened to all of us, and the reality of a bus which never comes can not be denied).

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