Tag Archives: Andy-Riga


Union Montreal's Tram plan: Orange lines denote planned routes

Union Montreal's Tram plan: Orange lines denote planned routes

Saturday’s Gazette has a feature from transportation reporter Andy Riga about whether trams are the future of transportation in Montreal.

There are two schools of thought on the matter. On the one hand are people like Projet Montréal’s Richard Bergeron, who get a hard on every time he hears the word and thinks there should be thousands of them (250 km worth) criss-crossing the city. He even has a proposal to replace Mont-Royal Ave. with a tram. Tram proponents (which also include Mayor Gérald Tremblay) say they’re clean, they’re fast and they’re fun, and they’ll attract tourists as well as those who think buses are too crowded and smelly.

On the other hand, there are those who think trams are too expensive for their purported benefits. They’re inflexible, require large infrastructure costs, and won’t actually pull more people out of their cars even as they necessarily reduce the amount of roadway available to traffic. The Gazette’s Henry Aubin, for example, thinks that trolley buses, which are also electric but can navigate around roadblocks and don’t require tracks, are a less sexy but much more sensible option.

The story comes in many parts, in print and online:

Having heard arguments on both sides, I’m still on the fence about tramways. I like the coolness factor and appreciate how efficient they are, but I also agree with the argument that trolley buses are more flexible. The idea of testing them out on routes that are simple, straight and begging for transit infrastructure (like Pie-IX) makes sense to me. If it’s successful, then we can ponder more complicated routes like Côte des Neiges, Park and Mont-Royal.

The Gazette’s new blog … about Montreal

The Gazette’s Andy Riga, apparently not content enough with his new transportation beat, has started up a new blog called Metropolitan News at communities.canada.com/montrealgazette/blogs/metropolitannews/default.aspx.

In its inaugural post, Riga promises the blog will “offer quirky looks at Montreal events, news and personalities; highlight the city’s vibrant online community, from bloggers to Twitterers to video posters; and tell you what is being said about our fair city in other parts of the blogosphere.”

I look forward to seeing what he’s got in store, and not just because I’m on his blogroll. Riga also has a Twitter account associated with this new project, which is worth a follow.

Andy Riga explores trainspotters

AMT train

Newly-appointed transportation reporter Andy Riga has a feature story in today’s paper about local trainspotters, complete with an audio slideshow from photographer John Kenney. The picture with the story is of Alex Tipaldos, aka KellerGraham, a transit photo nut and Friend of Fagstein.

Bastard copied my story idea His story complements a short one I did last year about bus fans who rent older transit buses and take pictures of them.

Both groups use the montrain.ca website (disclosure: run by a friend of mine) to organize their activities. The bus group, by the way, is organizing a pair of special bus charters for the first weekend of May.