$5 million study will look into easing overcrowding on packed Orange Line
With the Orange Line jammed, a new study will hopefully offer ways to ease the congestion.
The 18-month, $5 million study will specifically examine how to make the Orange Line ride easier, especially at Berri-UQAM station, which Mayor Valerie Plante has called the heart of the metro system.
“It’s very important because it shows the (provincial) government has heard my message,” said Plante on Thursday. “They understand there’s an issue, there’s a problem with the Orange Line and the UQAM station.”
Earlier this month, the city announce several measures to help unpack the stretch between Beaubien and Berri-UQAM, which is the most heavily trafficked stretch of the metro system, with up to 20,000 passengers each weekday. Those measures include adding metro cars and new reserved bus lanes to the area.
However, with roadwork projects such as the one on the Lafontaine Tunnel coming up, Plante acknowledged that more people may turn to public transportation, compounding the overcrowding problem.
Earlier this week Quebec Transport Minister Francois Bonnardel took a ride on the Orange Line during morning rush hour at the invitation of Plante. Bonnardel admitted the train was packed but didn’t commit to any specific plans to make commuting easier.
On Thursday, Plante once again said her signature Pink Line proposal would help. That plan has been repeatedly shot down by the Coalition Avenir Quebec provincial government. Plante added that while she believes the Pink Line would be the best solution, she would be open to other ideas.
“Ultimately, what I want is solutions. If it’s not exactly the Pink Line, if it has another colour or a different technology, but it fills the needs the Pink Line has been targeting, fair enough, I’d be totally open to that,” she said.