Montreal councillors want railway on Champlain replacement
Published Monday, May 26, 2014 11:19AM EDT
Last Updated Monday, May 26, 2014 1:47PM EDT
The replacement for the Champlain Bridge will have dedicated space for public transit, and councillors in Montreal want to make sure that is a railway, and not a bus lane.
Projet Montreal will present an emergency motion at tonight's city council meeting asking for a vote in favour of a light rail transit line on the Champlain Bridge II.
A light rail line could add $2 billion to the cost of the new bridge, but Richard Bergeron said the initial upfront investment will pay for itself with lower maintenance and operational costs.
Bergeron said if the federal government offers to pay for the infrastructure, the city and province should not accept a bad deal.
"On the middle and the longterm it will be far cheaper and if they say they understand that but 'I pay for the investment, you pay for the operation' I don't accept that. it's the Montreal taxpayer who pays for the investment and for the service, the operation cost," said Bergeron.
Bergeron says right now, each metro trip costs the STM $1.30, while each bus trip costs $3.10.
On Friday Quebec's Transportation Minister Robert Poeti said he has yet to make up his mind.
Meanwhile Griffintown residents say implementing rapid bus lanes from the Champlain Bridge would be disastrous.
400 buses go through the streets of Griffintown already. If a rapid bus lane is implemented on the replacement for the Champlain that number would more than double, to 900 buses per day.
"Already it's unlivable and we need to move to a more efficient form of transport," said councillor Craig Sauvé.