Apparently the STM is considering a major overhaul to the West Island bus network in the coming years, which will increase service and, more controversially, “do away” with having most of the buses go to the Fairview bus terminal.
Currently 17 buses go there, making it the largest STM bus terminal on the island. Only Bonaventure’s massive RTL terminal is larger.
I’m not sure how much I like this idea. As it stands, you can get from just about anywhere in the West Island to just about anywhere else using two buses. And where you have the option of more than one bus, you can just take whichever comes first to Fairview.
The STM is considering a grid system, in which buses go either East-West (like the 68 and 211) or North-South (like the 209 on Sources or the 201 on St. Charles). That way to get anywhere you’d still only need two buses, but could avoid an unnecessary detour.
The problem comes in their solution to the bigger problem: Shuttle service to the metro. Currently only the 470 Express Pierrefonds serves this function, and only during rush hours. Lots of people who go downtown take a bus to Fairview and then transfer to the 470. With a grid system, people might have to take two buses to get to Fairview, lengthening their trip.
Expanding express service is a brilliant idea (if only someone had thought of it earlier), but I’m unconvinced that enough people are taking trips where going through Fairview is a burdensome detour to justify such a shift in routes. Let’s start by getting more frequent service and faster service to downtown and we’ll go from there.
UPDATE: Wow, beat CTV News on this by over 48 hours. Someone sleeping on the job there? Or did their copy of the Chronicle arrive late?