The metro is too crowded for us to stall on the Pink line: STM chairman

Published Nov. 23, 2018 9:11 p.m. ET
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The proposed Pink line is the solution to an urgent problem of growing pressure on the metro system, says the STM’s chairman.

Ridership is up more than 5 per cent so far this year.

Speaking with CTV Montreal Friday, Philippe Schnobb said there are plans to add more trains – especially on the Orange line, which is particularly crowded

Schnobb said he hopes the short-term answer to the congested system is a new garage at Cote-Vertu that will allow the STM to increase the frequency of trains during rush hour

It also wants to look at above-ground solutions, including introducing bus lines and 300 new buses that will lighten the load for the underground system by 2020.

Ridership is up, in part, said Schnobb to all the roadwork, but also because the economy is going well and more people are commuting.

The trend is only growing, said Schnobb, adding that the only long-term solution is another metro line.

The CAQ government, however, has been clear about the Pink line, telling Mayor Valerie Plante that it is not a priority for them.

The city plans to go ahead with a feasibility study, and Schnobb said he believes that the STMs number will convince the Legault government this is necessary.

“What we have to think about is what the needs will be 20 years from now, 40 years from now,” said Schnobb. “Obviously we will have more ridership, and it’s very important to start thinking about what we can do now because if we start thinking about this 20 years from now, it will be too late.”

Scnhobb said the STM is working with the new Regional Transit Authority and the city to determine what the most cost-effective route for a new line might be -- including making part of it above ground to cut down on costs.

Bottom line, he said, is governments can’t afford to wait.


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