For a smart transit network, Montreal

At the heart of the international metropolitan thought, mass-transit network, more widely mobility challenges are recurrent issues in urban development.

An increasing population, an urban sprawl hardly handled, areas shaped by new territorial functions as work, housing, entertainment constantly call into question the efficiency of transit network implemented.

Massive investments required by network changes can only be started every 40 years whereas urban flows and uses change faster.

As a result, transit network infrastructures are barely adapted to people needs of mobility.

The challenge of such project is to be able to satisfy the current needs and anticipate future flow and use changes within the metropolis.

The present lack of flexibility in transit offers puts a curb on new needs of people mobility. Mulitmodal structures missing, inappropriate bus lines, carelessness of soft mobilities (walking, biking, rollerskating…), make car the best solution.

Referencing to the XXth century goals promoting substainable development and agenda 21 implementation, the car cannot be, in its current running mode and in an urban environment, a substainable solution to solve mobility issues.

That’s the reason why local authorities of Montreal have established a transport program « Transport 2020 ».

The difficulties of access to the transport network are for categories of users very penalising. Handicapped and elderly mostly use their car for their moving but they arenot the only ones. Hinders layman who doesn’t live close to subway or train station also have to commute by car.

Rush hour in Montreal

Rush hour in Montreal

Making more functional and safe multimodal platforms, putting together car and bycicle parkings, bus stop and metro station, would motivate people to use mass-transit. Offering more solutions to the people needs of mobility with efficient innermodal connections would equip the network with that flexibility missing so much.

Added value in daily people life organisation, live information has been possible with the incorporation of the new technologies in transport network and the rising equipment rate of users with smartphones. Commuting and waiting time or network info are now available in live making easier people movings.

Technical and operational features are highly decisive in the network efficiency but the key-element to make it use by the inhabitants relies on the pricing policy. In the cost/transport quality ratio, car is the mean of transport mostly chosen. More economical, it provides also a better ease than in public transport.

Solutions to mobility issues do exist. The proval challenge relies on the capability of local operators to work together for the general interest in order to improve life quality for their inhabitants. Local authorities of Montreal response was to create a gouvernance structure called « comité d’axe ».

Their commun work will be one of the keys of the « transport2020 » program success of Montreal.

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