NEWS

Montreal's transport wishlist costly

01/15/2013 09:21 EST | Updated 03/17/2013 05:12 EDT
Montrealers will have to pay more for the city to achieve its new five-year transport plan, according to the executive committee member responsible for transport, Réal Ménard.

The plan released on Tuesday outlines the executive committee's six priorities for the next five years.

Ménard said at the top of the list is the expansion of the metro system's blue line, with five new stations east of Saint-Michel, as far as Anjou in the city's east end.

Ménard said this would improve public transit access for another 140,000 commuters daily, but he said that could come with a high price tag.

"The consumer will have a contribution. The government will have a contribution. The drivers will have a contribution," he said. "The debates have to be taking place, but many key players need to [spend] more money."

Other priorities include:

- Adding express bus service on Pix IX Boulevard

- Lengthening L'Assomption Boulevard

- Completing the Train de l'Est project

- Adding more reserved lanes for buses

- Creating a boulevard to link the Gouin Boulevard to Highway 440

"We are very conscious that the amount of money available [is] not sufficient," said Ménard.

The projects are conditional, depending on whether Montreal gets enough money from the provincial government to proceed with its plan.

"We are confident that the Quebec government will renew its financial support of transport projects in our municipality," said Ménard.

In the 20-year transport plan unveiled in 2007, the City of Montreal planned on spending $240 million each year to meet its goals.

Former mayor Gérald Tremblay's administration was never able to reach that target.

Ménard said the city will have to look at ways to increase revenues in order to improve public transit and maintain its existing network of 1,400 kilometres of roads.

He said among the possibilities are putting up tolls, increasing parking rates and adding a tax on car registration.

MORE:cbcNews