Facing the commute: AMT head hears concerns from public
Published Thursday, November 22, 2012 10:41PM EST
Last Updated Friday, November 23, 2012 8:09AM EST
MONTREAL—Former Parti Quebecois transport critic Nicolas Girard was in the driver’s seat on Thursday as the new head of the AMT held his first public consultation, setting out his vision for the commuter rail agency.
With thousands of people crowding platforms daily, Girard pledged to continue improving the quality of the agency’s sometimes spotty service as his first goal. While he said the agency would complete projects that are in progress like the Train de l'Est, he reassured West Islanders that evaluating the feasibility of a Train de l'Ouest is a priority as well.
While fielding the questions about delays, new equipment and limited nighttime schedules, the new president of the AMT figured out how to adapt transit to the new Champlain Bridge.
“The construction is going to start in five years so we need to decide what's going to be the new public transportation on this new bridge,” said Girard.
The AMT is also planning to begin offering secure bicycle parking at the Deux-Montagnes station this spring as a pilot project.
Train de l'Ouest supporters asked about a link to the West Island they say is vital if motorists are to be encouraged to leave their cars at home.
“They'll tell you there's no bloody way that I'm going to take three buses just to get to the West Island or two buses and a metro and walk and take me two hours to get to the west island. What we need is direct service.”
Girard says a preliminary engineering study on the Train de l'Ouest is underway.
Montrealers will also see more reserved lanes on highways by 2020 and the AMT is considering extending metro lines. It's a commitment to public transit, if the public can afford to pay for it.