Now that the debate is over, I guess we can assume that the party platforms are out there. I was interested in how each party is looking at public transit. Even though the economy and health care are the big issues, it’s never been sexier to be green.
From news interviews and party platforms, here’s what I’ve been able to piece together about what the parties have promised for public transit in Quebec.
The promises are about what you’d expect: practical but uninspiring from the Liberals, pandering and expensive from the PQ, non-existent from the ADQ and completely unrealistic from the Green Party and Québec solidaire.
Nothing radical or even particularly interesting comes out of the main parties (the PQ’s promises, in particular, involve many things that are already being planned), but it does give an idea of what portions of the electorate each party is targeting.
- Increase the frequency of train trips to Laval and the South Shore suburbs by 35% within 12-24 months, an additional 230 train departures each week, or 264,000 seats
- 10,000 new parking places at commuter train stations (a 35% increase)
- Consider Montreal proposal for construction of tramways
Total cost: $260 million ($200 million through the province, $60 million from the AMT)
- Extend blue line east
- Build a tramway to Old Montreal
- Create a direct rail link to Trudeau Airport
- Create express bus lines on Henri-Bourassa Blvd.
- Create an LRT from Brossard to downtown
- Build a commuter train to Repentigny
- Build a commuter train from Longueuil to Châteauguay
- Create reserved bus lanes on Highways 13, 15, and 19
- Increase public transit use 16 per cent by 2013 (double the current Liberal goal)
Total cost: $3.6 billion, not enough says Normand Parisien of Transport 2000
Action démocratique du Québec
The ADQ has nothing in its platform (PDF) about public transit beyond a vague promise to “modernize its management”, though Mario Dumont has said in the past he would make public transit an essential service, removing from its unions the right to strike.
- Reduced fare for low-income earners
- In the long term, the complete elimination of transit fares
- Encouraging the use of fully electric vehicles
- Increase use of collective taxis in low-density areas where bus service is impractical
- Unspecified extensions to metros, commuter trains and bus network on the island of Montreal
Total cost: $1.2 billion over five years
Source: Party platform
Green Party of Quebec
- Create high-speed rail link between Quebec City and Windsor
- Extend Montreal metro’s blue line east to Anjou
- Build tramways in Montreal (including, apparently, on Pierrefonds Blvd. in the West Island), Quebec, Longueuil, Gatineau, Laval and Sherbrooke
- Electrify existing rail links connecting Quebec City, Alma, Gaspé, Sherbrooke and Montreal
- Reduce the cost of transit passes by 50%
Total cost: $40 billion over 20 years (includes non-public transport measures), financed by a carbon tax and road tolls
What do you think? Which party has the best public transit platform?