Municipal elections: the candidates to the city hall of Laval bet on the bus

Photo: Jacques Nadeau Le Devoir
Nearly 85% of Residents use a car to get to work, but two-thirds would use public transit if it reduced their travel time.

The conclusion is unanimous : the traffic congestion becomes “catastrophic” in Laval, not only to travel to Montreal, but also in the interior of the island. The candidates for mayor all offer a greater reliance on bus transportation to lower the pressure of the Residents.


The outgoing mayor, Marc Demers, who aspires to a second term in office, should announce Friday morning that it calls for a bus lane on the median of highway 15, then, like several elected officials from the northern suburbs. It also considers that the extension, expected to highway 19 should give rise to a true “highway bus” — and so, doomed in priority to active and public transportation.


Nearly 60 % of the citizens of Laval and the Lower Laurentians claim that road congestion affects their health, according to a study by the Société de transport de Laval. Nearly 80% believe that the situation has worsened in the past five years, reminds the team of the mayor Demers.


The problem is that the people of the north suburban move in large numbers by car : about 85% use a car to get to work. But two-thirds would use public transit if it reduced their travel time.


Lanes empty


In the meantime, the Residents rant against the bus lanes, which remain desperately empty on the grands boulevards, while the cars are standing still, bumper to bumper. The aspiring mayors Jean-Claude Gobé and Michel Trottier propose to allow car sharing, or the shift to hybrid cars or electric, on bus lanes. Mr. Gobé also wants better coordination of road works so that they can move more quickly.

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“The lanes sow grumbling, said Michel Trottier. Removing a lane for buses that pass infrequently and are not crowded. “


It promises free access to the buses of the STL for students aged 17 to 25 years. It is necessary to encourage young people to take the bus instead of buying a car, ” he says. Elected officials must put in place policies to reduce the number of cars in circulation in Laval, especially as the population is expected to grow by 26 % over the next 20 years.


Going green


The City also needs to improve transit to make it competitive with the car. Michel Trottier offers a better bus service between the east and the west of Laval, on the grands boulevards designed first and foremost for cars.


Marc Demers, himself, undertakes to make a green shift to the STL. The development of the network will be by electric buses. It plans to introduce a line of completely electric in 2019-2020, after the acquisition of 10 electric buses. The call for tenders will be launched in December 2017.


The candidates for mayor also agree that in order to claim the extension of the orange line from station Côte-Vertu. In the meantime, they estimate that short-term commitments are needed to reduce traffic congestion.