05/28/2012 02:03 EDT | Updated 07/28/2012 05:12 EDT

Que. transport minister promises Montrealers less gridlock

The Quebec government will spend $26-million this summer to help coordinate road construction with the city of Montreal, in order to reduce gridlock during the busy summer construction season.

Transport Minister Pierre Moreau said the money will go towards hundreds of small measures designed to keep traffic flowing smoothly.

"Coordination, communication and investment in transport [are] the key words," Moreau said.

Moreau's department set up an emergency committee last summer after road work on bridges and highways— some of it unplanned — created massive gridlock.

Officials from municipal governments across Montreal island, the transport ministry and la Société de Transport de Montréal, the public transit authority, worked together on a series of measures designed to ease congestion, Moreau said.

- Thirty kilometres of new reserved bus lanes will be added.

- Hundreds of new parking spaces will be created at commuter train and bus stations.

- Some non-urgent repair work will be delayed to keep traffic flowing.

- First-time buyers of yearly transit passes will get one month free.

Montreal mayor Gerald Tremblay says it's a good start.

"If we add up all the measures that are announced today, they're very positive and encouraging for the future," Tremblay said. "But we're facing a major challenge for the next decade. It's going to take ten years to solve all these major problems for Montreal."

Tremblay is asking drivers to be patient, or — better yet — to switch to public transit once and for all.