Quebec parties’ transit promises

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.

Liberal Party of Quebec

  • 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)

Sources: Charest promises increased transit to Laval, Longueuil

Parti Québécois

  • 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

Sources: PQ promises $3.5B for public transit, Transit union boss backs PQ

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.

Québec solidaire

  • 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

Sources: Party platform (PDF), Transport plan announcement

What do you think? Which party has the best public transit platform?

9 thoughts on “Quebec parties’ transit promises

  1. Guillaume Theoret

    Of all places to connect via high speed rail, Windsor-Quebec City!?

    I would love to see an Ottawa-Montreal-Toronto high speed rail triangle though.

    Too bad the liberals don’t apparently care about public transport given that they’ll probably be the ones making the decisions. Why can’t we have 24h metros yet? Wouldn’t not having to choose between heading home at midnight or driving to stay at a party later help cut down on drunk driving?

  2. dan

    all of them suck. the green party sucks a little bit less, but still: ANJOU!!!??? nobody lives in anjou. how about a blue line extension to NDG and the loyola campus? maybe if ndgers didn’t absent-mindedly vote liberal for once, we’d get something done.

  3. Guillaume Theoret

    I suppose I never really realized how close to a straight line QC-Montreal-Ottawa-Toronto-Windsor is until I really looked at it. A high speed line to connect all those cities would indeed be great.

  4. plam

    Lots of people live in Anjou. (Well, at least I lived pretty close to Anjou when I was growing up.) But the blue line doesn’t go downtown, which makes it much less useful, unless you’re going to UdeM or something.

  5. Mr. Robertson

    Why are there no other plans for Metro extensions aside from the blue line eastward?

    What about:
    Blue line westward through NDG, MoWest and Lachine
    Yellow Line futher into Longueuil
    Completing the Orange Line loop in Laval
    Metro stop on Nun’s Island, Griffintown and Brossard

    I hate being held prisoner by the damned Liberals.

  6. Jean Naimard

    Grits: “an additional 230 train departures each week, or 264,000 seats”
    In reality, that’s 23 extra round-trips a day, divided by 5 train lines which is only 4.6 extra trains daily per line. If they want big numbers, why don’t they state the increase in passenger/miles????

    Pay-Cue «yadda yadda yadda»
    They don’t propose anything that isn’t already on the drawing boards…
    Now, since they talk about the shuttle to the AéroPET, that project won’t see the light of day, because it annoys someone big enough to keep it canned… (I don’t know who, but I’m trying very hard to find out…)

    Mario Ducon «No platform, but will remove the right to strike»
    This is well in line with his extreme right-wing(nut) policies of demolishing the State. There was, however, one of theit north-shore candidates who was talking about extending the Deux-Montagnes line to Mirabel (as it should have been done 30 years ago), but he’s not talking about that anymore. Maybe his führer cracked down on such lavish expenditure of public funds…

    Québec Solitaire «Unspecified extensions to metros, commuter trains and bus network on the island of Montreal»
    Yeah, right. The Métro is only warranted in high-density areas that are already served.

    Of them all, only the Greens seem to make a bit of sense, however they will experience quite a shock when confronted to reality (mainline rail electrification? It will not be profitable unless there are huge government outlays, and the railroads would be weary of the strings that would be attached to that. The high-speed rail has a better change), but since they only have a snowball’s chance in a globally-warmed hell in getting elected, well…

    * * *

    Québec has the headquarters of the world’s largest rail rolling-stock manufacturer. Why does it still caters to the ruinous road transportation system, which drains 20% of Québec’s gross domestic product to outside of Québec?

    The jobs provided by road transportation are cheap, low-quality jobs. Switching back to (electrified) rail would provide far more better, more sustainable jobs.

    But no. Not with the Liberal Party that is infeodated to the little chamber of commerce morons who sell cars and tyres to people.

    Not with the Pay-Cue that is infeodated to the “I got to have a big car to compensate from being dominated by the english*” mindset of the average, run-of-the-mill suburban dweller.
    To their credit though, 25 years ago, the PQ said they would not build more highways.

    Not with Mario Ducon who wants to go back 50 years without government intervention and having people left to themselves.

    And not with parties who stand a snowball chance in hell in being elected (hmm. I guess I should include Mario Ducon in that latter category)…

    * Ever wondered why, until about 15 years ago, commuter trains were only serving the west-island? (even though that 25 years ago, there were commuter trains to Ste-Thérèse, St-Hilaire Est and Farnham – yes, as far as Farnham; they were abandonned because of lack of ridership — and yes, 25 years ago, the PQ was subsidizing those trains) Because the english don’t have to compensate for a colonial inferiority complex; they don’t need to show-off in flashy cars, they **HAVE** the control.

  7. Fagstein Post author

    A blue line extension west might be useful, but it’s low-density compared to the area east of St. Michel station.

    Longueuil is also low-density for a metro station.

    The orange line extension to Laval cost almost a billion dollars. A big part of that was having to dig under the river. Doing so again would be redundant and pointless.

    Nuns’ Island doesn’t even have a traffic light, and adding a metro there toward the South Shore would be incredibly expensive.


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