Reducing traffic congestion in the greater Montreal region must go through the development of public transport services, and not by congestion charges, said yesterday the Minister of Transport of Quebec and Minister responsible for the Montreal region , Robert Poeti.
Poeti Minister responded yesterday to the publication of a report of the Commission for environmental taxation of Canada, an independent research group of 12 leading economists from all parts of the country, which advocates the adoption of various mechanisms pricing to reduce traffic congestion in the four largest cities, Montreal, Toronto, Calgary and Vancouver.
The Commission recommended solution for Quebec’s metropolis would be to implement a congestion charge on all decks surrounding the island of Montreal, as La Presse reported in its issue yesterday.
For the Minister poeti, there is a “punitive” proposition for motorists, without incentive to use another mode of transportation.
“We must offer another option. Tollbooths we may well put at 18 locations in the periphery of the island, it only increases the cost of traveling to Montreal. Are there any other way to Montreal? The solution for us is public transit. ”
Poeti Mr. Couillard recalls and the government has begun to transform the governance of public transport to make it more effective and that three major public transport projects are in the planning or an electric train between the South Shore and Montreal, a train project between the city center and the airport in Dorval and extension of Line 5 (blue) metro to Anjou, in the east of Montreal.
Note, however, none of these projects has yet received official confirmation of realization.
EFFECT “DONUT HOLE”
For the écofiscalité Commission of Canada, the development of public transport is certainly part of the solutions to congestion. Taken alone, this solution does however not ensure lasting effects of the problem, and may even contribute to worsen the adverse effects of traffic congestion.
“In general, the Commission believes, the expansion of public transport and the road network can meet population growth and effectively increase the capacity and throughput of the entire transport system. ”
“In the longer term, these improvements are attracting a greater number of drivers and produce new traffic jams. So this rarely increased capacity reduces congestion levels. ”
Commission environmental taxation of Canada, in its report Sunday
The President and CEO of the Quebec Trucking Association (ACQ), Marc Cadieux, for its part considers that the Commission’s recommendations raise many questions which the organization did not answer. He lamented the lack of analysis of the impacts that a belt tollbooth, around Montreal, would have on the cost of travel or accessibility to the territory of the island.
“The concern of the trucking industry against any form of pricing, he says, is that there is a link between the profitability of the measure and the cost that will have to assume. We were all happy, initially, the completion of Highway 30 to bypass Montreal, even if a toll. Augmentions with rates of 30% per year, since we have a little disillusioned. ”
The President of the Executive Committee of the City of Montreal, Pierre Desrochers, held a similar argument yesterday when he commented on the Commission proposals for environmental taxation.
“There are concerns, he said. We want to avoid Montreal isolates itself and becomes a donut hole, “abandoned by the middle class in favor of the suburbs, less congested and more affordable.
“We must find ways to reduce congestion, acknowledged Mr. Desrochers. But we must understand the economic impact there might be on Montreal. The debate is launched, but it will be seen in a much broader perspective by including the entire Montreal region. ”