Photo: Jacques Nadeau Le Devoir
The mayor Valérie Plant says it is confident that the new vehicles will encourage Montrealers to use more often the public transport.
There will be 300 hybrid buses in the streets of Montreal by 2020, announced on Tuesday that the government of Quebec and the City of Montreal. The mayor of the metropolis, Valerie Plant, therefore, can boast of having thus fulfilled one of its electoral promises.
The fleet of buses, full — hybrid and regular — will increase as well, from 1807 to 2107. This is an increase of nearly 15 %.
“This will be the most strong growth in the bus fleet in a one-year history of the MCS “, welcomed the president of the board of directors of the Société de transport de Montréal (STM), Philippe Schnobb.
In a municipal garage, Quebec and Montreal — who are funding the project — have made the launch of the call for tenders that will be made by the STM to the acquisition of these vehicles, which should have a minimum of 20% canadian content.
“We start the year in grand “, launched the mayor at the announcement.
Also present were the minister of Transport, André Fortin, the minister of municipal Affairs, Martin Coiteux, the minister Christine St-Pierre, who was in his constituency.
No cost has been advanced for the purchase of these vehicles.
“As we share in the call for tenders, it is not to publicly say how much one is willing to pay. We will let the providers make their proposals “, has hammered Mr. Schnobb.
Because of this added bus, the STM believes, however, that its operating budget will increase by $ 75 million per year starting in 2020.
The mayor Plant said he believes that new vehicles will encourage Montrealers to use more often the public transport, because the service will be ” faster and more efficient “.
She was pleased to have delivered this promise from the last election less than two months after coming to office.
The minister Fortin stressed that the announcement ” is part of our efforts to combat climate change “.
He also spoke of the many benefits of hybrid buses : more quiet, more comfortable, they allow fuel savings and reduction of emissions of CO?. They will help to reduce congestion on the roads and reduce the environmental footprint of the city.
To drive these new buses through the metropolis, the STM plans to hire 600 drivers and maintenance personnel. New spaces should also be provided for parking these vehicles.
It is not yet determined on what circuits these buses will be added, but Mr. Schnobb spoke of needs, in particular in Rivière-des-Prairies, Griffintown, and Pointe-aux-Trembles.
The STM says it is ready to integrate the bus additional in its fleet. There is no problem hiring, assured Mr. Schnobb, and the options are evaluated for areas required for parking of vehicles.
And the metro ?
The minister Fortin has said that he will have other announcements to make regarding the metro, while insisting on the fact that it is one of the major issues of priority for transit in Montreal.
As to the pink line, the mayor is holding still, but she reiterated that it must first refine its project before presenting it to governments.
The two projects in line are not in competition, ” retorted the minister Fortin when asked about it : there are two initiatives are at different stages of progress.