A tram in the Great South-West… then elsewhere in Montreal

We are citizens, groups and organizations of the Greater South West. We were impatient to participate in the ARTM public consultation on the Grand Sud-Ouest project⁠1because let’s be frank, we have been waiting a long time for this area to be served by truly structuring public transport.




And we had time to think, to research, to analyze, to observe: what we need in the Great South-West is a system of trams crisscrossing residential sectors, employment centers and places of service.

We want to see this tram network open up Saint-Pierre and LaSalle; serve dense and disadvantaged residential areas such as around the 32e Avenue in Lachine; contribute to the zero carbon strategy of the Lachine-Est eco-district; make the new Lachine riverside park, the André-Laurendeau CEGEP and the LaSalle hospital more accessible; enrich the pedestrianization strategy of Old Montreal; contribute to the vitality of the employment centers that constitute the industrial parks of Lachine, Dorval and LaSalle.

More than 400 cities around the world benefit from a tram network. Why the tram? For its accessibility: at ground level, it allows people with reduced mobility, families with strollers and cyclists to access it without an elevator.

For its comfort and frequency: the tram is a thousand miles from the bus in terms of comfort (noise, acceleration and deceleration, seats, etc.). In addition, it allows frequent service without the phenomenon of bus grouping (bus bunching).

For its modest environmental footprint: it is electrified, but without requiring huge batteries, and its ground construction greatly reduces the carbon emissions associated with its construction.

For its structuring potential: through its efficiency, its attractive power and its ability to integrate well into the existing built environment, it has the power to connect and revitalize neighborhoods, all along its route, much more than ‘no bus service, even fast, can do that.

And for its moderate cost: it is less expensive to put into service than a bus system with equivalent service. Above all, it is much cheaper to build than an aerial or underground system.

Thus, the tram makes it possible to create, for a similar sum, a much more extensive network with many more stations than a metro.

On the one hand, this multiplication of stations in a given territory reduces the undesirable impacts of gentrification, such as the increase in rents around the routes. On the other hand, providing a reliable system with stations close to a large number of citizens is the key to a massive modal shift towards public transport and a reduction in the rate of vehicle ownership.

This is a gain for the environment, public health and the wallet of each of its new users. People are looking for the fastest possible journey times from their doorstep to their destination, which the tram allows thanks to the accessibility of its stations. With an extensive network, numerous stations, and potentially express lines, the tramway will offer a large number of citizens the alternative to the car they are looking for: close, practical, comfortable, reliable, frequent.

We very much hope that the Grand Sud-Ouest tramway will be one of the first in a large network, which will join the Eastern tramway and the possible routes of Laval, the South Shore and Montreal (Cavendish, Côte -des-Neiges, du Parc and Jean-Talon, for example).

We hope that this Greater South-West tramway will be part of a transformative integrated pan-Montreal public transport network that we will design together, in its entirety, quickly. Because we are also citizens, groups and organizations from Mercier–Hochelaga–Maisonneuve, Villeray–Saint-Michel–Parc-Extension, Ahuntsic–Cartierville and elsewhere in Greater Montreal, and we all want the same thing: we move efficiently between our neighborhoods, at an affordable cost and with full respect for our environment and our built heritage.

1. Consult the “Greater South-West of Montreal Project” page

What do you think ? Participate in the dialogue

* Co-signatories: Jean-François Lefevbre, lecturer in urban studies, UQAM; Myriam Grondin, general director, Concert’Action Lachine; Charles Frenette-Cyr, vice-president, Imagine Lachine-Est; Henri Chevalier, general director, CDEC LaSalle-Lachine; Virginie St-Louis Grégoire, general director, SDC rue Notre-Dame in Lachine; Nathalie Robitaille, general manager, PME MTL Ouest-de-l’Île; Ariane Perras, secretary of the board of directors, Demain Verdun Citizen Movement; David Gamper, co-coordinator, Savons la Falaise St-Jacques; Daniel Chartier, vice-president and head of the collective transport file, Collectif en environment Mercier-Est; Pascal Priori, coordination Better living with fewer cars, Solon; Karl Janelle, president, Coalition Climat Montréal; Olivier Labrèche, volunteer member, Association for Active Mobility of Saint-Laurent; Jacques Lebleu, member, Ahuntsic-Cartierville Environmental Mobilization (MEAC); Laurel Thompson, Secretary-Treasurer, Trainsparence; Michael Fish, Administrator, Trainsparence; Paul Bourque, administrator, PABECO 8NC; Dany Tremblay, president, Dany Tremblay Urbaniste-Conseil inc.

** And several citizens: Anne Rigaud, Lachine; André Gravel, Ahuntsic-Cartierville; Michel Pierpaoli, Verdun; Manon Dupuis, Ahuntsic-Cartierville; Patrice P.-Martel, Ahuntsic-Cartierville; Benoît Dugas, Ahuntsic-Cartierville; Amin Sayoud, Lachine; Louise Lafrance, Ahuntsic-Cartierville; Adriana Bungardean, Ahuntsic-Cartierville; Louise Viger, Ahuntsic-Cartierville; Fernand Doutre, Ahuntsic-Cartierville; Gisèle Comtois, Ahuntsic-Cartierville; Bruno Lafaille, Deux-Montagnes; Ana Elvia Mejia, Ahuntsic-Cartierville; Franceline Mathieu, Quebec; Isabelle Mailloux-Beique, Rosemont–La Petite-Patrie; Régent Séguin, LaSalle; Diane Grenier, Lachine; Martin Alix, Lachine; Elisabeth Pham, Lachine; Chloé Fortin, Lachine; Louise Viger, Ahuntsic-Cartierville; François Lemoine, Lachine; Yvon Longpré, Lachine; Marie France Henri, Montreal; Ghislaine Raymond, Ahuntsic-Cartierville; Lorraine Dick, Lachine; Renée-Claude Lorimier, Ahuntsic-Cartierville; Estelle Carde, Ahuntsic-Cartierville; Michel Lincourt, Mercier–Hochelaga-Maisonneuve; Julia Stirling, Rosemont–La Petite-Patrie; Samuel Gagné, Villeray–Saint-Michel–Parc-Extension; Pablo Aguiar, Villeray–Saint-Michel–Parc-Extension; Jacques Lebleu, Ahuntsic-Cartierville; Adrien Jean-Pierre, Villeray–Saint-Michel–Parc-Extension; Claude Champagne, Mercier–Hochelaga-Maisonneuve; Hubert Fortin, Verdun; Elizabeth Verge, Lachine; Christiane Lavoie, South-West; Henri-Charles Baudot, Ahuntsic-Cartierville; Bruno Detuncq, Rosemont–La Petite-Patrie


reference: www.lapresse.ca

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