Time travel dream

Departures from downtown Montreal

  • Calculated on Tuesday, 12 may at 17:

  

Departures from the city centre of Quebec

  • Calculated on Tuesday, 12 may at 17:

RATE OF CONGESTION

In Montreal

Prior to the pandemic

67 % : the average rate during the peak period on Thursday afternoon, according to the firm TomTom. This rate means that a trip takes an average of 67 % more time than the same trip without caps.

Now 11 %

In Quebec City

Prior to the pandemic

63 % : the average rate during the peak period on Thursday afternoon, according to the firm TomTom. This rate means that a trip takes on average 63 % more time than the same trip without caps.

Now 14 %

Source : TomTom Traffic congestion index for the day Thursday, may 7, to 16 h

EXAMPLE OF THE REDUCTION OF TRAFFIC IN MONTREAL

Pont Médéric-Martin, autoroute des Laurentides, between Montreal and Laval, at the end of February to early April.

  • Light-duty vehicles (includes cars) : decline of more than 60 %
  • Trucks intermediate : decrease of 50% to 60%
  • Heavy trucks : down 30 %

Source : ministry of Transport of Quebec

Measures of telework and simple to set up

  • Introducing telework on a large scale during the days of snow storm
  • Forcing employees with contagious, which have the common cold, for example, to make remote work
  • Encourage telecommuting during the days of smog
  • Shift schedules undertaken to reduce the peak hours
  • Implement a certain number of days in telework during the week

Source : experts interviewed for this folder

The portrait overwhelming traffic jams

  • In normal times, in Montreal, motorists waste a lot of time and money in the congestion. Here’s what we saved in march and April because of the absence of traffic congestion.
  • 20.6 million hours earned by motorists in lost time in traffic.
  • Which is equivalent to :
    586 894 weeks work or 12 226 years of work
  • 20.7 million litres of gasoline saved, or $ 18.6 million

Source : adapted from a study by the firm ADEC, with the consent of the author

Discounts in question to provide

The congestion on the roads is gone, almost instantly, to Montreal and Quebec city, as in most major cities across the globe, from the beginning of the pandemic, the COVID-19.

For two months now, the major arteries are cleared. The movement is fluid everywhere. No more nightmares, no more bridges are blocked, and traffic jams, no more stress in traffic.

The downturn in the economy has a lot to do. But in the balance, also weighs telework.

Currently, almost half (47.9 %) of canadian businesses are using them, according to a study by Statistics Canada dating back to the end of the month of April. Prior to the pandemic, and the beginning of February, they were 20.4% to use it.

Since we work more at home, is this the time to review the major current projects of the transit and road work ? Some people believe that it must be done immediately, while several experts interviewed believe that the big question will be unavoidable, but later.

Cheap and effective

One thing is for certain, the widespread implementation of telework, even if it is forced, as is currently the case, has produced obvious effects.

“This is not spectacular, it does not cost billions, but it is awfully effective [reduce congestion], and we realize it today “, stresses Pierre-Olivier Fortin, a spokesman for CAA-Quebec.

“A person working at home, it is a person of less in the traffic jam “, he adds.

In his opinion, telecommuting is here to stay, but it is difficult to know to what extent it will continue to spread. CAA-Quebec does not advocate the cancellation of major projects to current transport.

Tram or seniors ?

Few people have done up to now. Recently, the leader of the opposition in the city hall of Quebec City, Jean-François Gosselin, said that it is necessary to ask if the invoice of the project, including those of the tram and the third link, of which he is a strong defender, is not too salty in the current context.

According to Mr. Gosselin, public money should rather be invested in priority in the care of the elderly, severely affected by the crisis of the COVID-19.

To the board of trade of metropolitan Montreal, it is estimated, on the contrary, that it would be a mistake to abandon the major projects in the immediate future, such as the extension of the blue line of the metro.

According to the president of the organization, Michel Leblanc, these public investments will be needed to revive the economy after the end of the pandemic.

“All the exchanges that we had with the government indicate that it is not a question of abandoning the programmes of infrastructure,” he explains in an interview.

Challenges

But Mr. Leblanc admits that the transit systems are facing major challenges, due to the measures of distancing physical which should remain in place for some time and that reduce their capacity.

In the short term, during the déconfinement due to the COVID-19, it will be necessary to according to him to shift the operating hours of businesses to reduce traffic during peak periods on public transport. Telework can also help in this sense.

Small electric cars

But, in the longer term, Mr. Leblanc believes that we will have to consider other alternatives. It evokes the idea of a network of small electric cars, which would make routes predetermined in the cities. In this way, it would reduce the contacts between large groups of people.

Engineer and specialist in questions of travel, Catherine Morency, for its part, is launching a warning. It is feared that the reduction of traffic on the roads caused by the telework does not produce perverse effects.

Cycling and walking

“It should not be that we encourage people to take more of their self, because the movement is more fluid on the road “, explains the professor at Polytechnique Montréal.

According to Ms. Morency, the future in the urban centres is the development of ” active modes “, that are biking and walking. Thus, it will reduce the pressure on the public transport and we will make use of solutions where the distance will be possible.

  

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