Tuesday, 21 October 2008

$155 Million for Commuter Trains in Greater Montreal: A Step in the Right Direction?

The Quebec government and the Montreal Transportation Authority will invest $155 million in new rail service to outlying suburban communities beginning in January, it was announced Monday. This comes hot on the heels of announcements that more rain departures and bus lanes will be set up in other parts of the Montreal area. Commuter rail ridership has gone up by 125 per cent over the last ten years, according to the MTA’s chair Joe Gauthier.

Sounds like a plan. Certainly getting commuters out of their cars and on to public transportation is a good things for the people involved concerned. Companies who had been relying on their middle management extending their working day by talking on their cell phones during the commute will probably be happy too. Hand held cell phone use has been illegal in Quebec since the summer, and while many people are using headsets, anecdotal evidence suggests that it’s not the same. Nothing is stopping you from using your cell on a bus or train though, and you even can claw through your paper work or consult your computer during the commute.

However, the frequency of buses and Metro trains in the city should be increased too. There’s no point in bringing people from the suburbs into the center of the city if it’s not easy to get around quickly in it. And there is no reason why those of use who have chosen the “greener” lifestyle center city living provides should have to be crowded when we take the bus or Metro.


Muzition said...

I guess the only thing stopping people from using their phones on buses and trains is the feeling that they might be bothering their fellow passengers when they do so.

Mary Soderstrom said...

Don't know which buses you ride, but the 80 and 535 frequently have people talking on cell phones. I even overheard an immigration lawyer going over the details of a refugee claimant case with one of his clients. That kind of thing is definitely not to be encouraged (probably violated the client confidentially rules, even) but I don't think anybody refrains from using a cell phone out of concern about disturbing other passengers!