After a winter lull, automobile traffic is on the rise again these days on the Jacques-Cartier and Samuel-De Champlain bridges, show new data obtained by La Presse. In both cases, we have reached highs for the month of March since the partial closure of the Louis-Hippolyte-La Fontaine bridge-tunnel.
“Since mid-March, there have been more marked periods of congestion in both directions, at the morning and afternoon peak,” confirms the spokesperson for the Jacques-Cartier and Champlain Bridges, Nathalie Lessard.
Last month, there were more than 2.5 million trips in both directions, a 15% increase from the approximately 2.2 million cars that used the infrastructure in February. The increase is particularly marked towards Montreal, with a 17% jump in trips. Towards the South Shore, the number of crossings increased by 14%.
This is the first increase in ridership since the partial closure of the Louis-Hippolyte-La Fontaine bridge-tunnel. In October, shortly before the start of work, the Jacques-Cartier Bridge had been used by more than 2.7 million vehicles, but since that date, we have rather observed “a drop in volumes in general”. Nathalie Lessard affirms that “several reasons that are difficult to quantify, such as teleworking, the weather, public transport and the winter period which is normally less busy” can help explain the situation.
On the Samuel-De Champlain Bridge, we also see that traffic started to rise again in March, with an average increase of 7% in both directions, details the spokesperson for the Signature Group on the Saint-Laurent, Martin Chamberland.
In total, last month, nearly 145,000 motorists drove daily on the infrastructure, a record since November, when approximately 140,000 passages were reached. Ridership hit a low in January, with 126,000 daily trips.
Meanwhile, public transit ridership continues to stagnate. At the beginning of April, the Société de transport de Montréal (STM) set its ridership level at 73% compared to the pre-pandemic period – 71% in the metro and 73% in the buses -, “a gain by one percentage point compared to an average business day of the previous week,” said spokesperson Justine Lord-Dufour.
We still observe approximately “920,000 trips per average working day on the regular network”. Paratransit, meanwhile, is now approaching 80% of pre-pandemic ridership.
More than 50,000 drivers have been ticketed in recent years for driving too fast around schools monitored by mobile photo radar. Welcoming their multiplication, Piétons Québec is concerned, however, about a certain “normalization of speeding” in school zones. Since 2016, at least 44 schools have been monitored by mobile photo radar in Quebec, according to data from the Department of Justice. These devices generated no less than 51,650 statements of offense, for a total of $9.4 million in fines.
The McGill metro station in Montreal officially became “universally accessible” on Monday with the installation of elevators allowing access to the platform in the direction of the Angrignon station. In the entire metro network, it is thus the 26th of its kind out of a total of 68 stations. The works cost about 58.4 million in total. In addition to the installation of two elevators, the STM proceeded with the “replacement of the waterproofing system covering the underground roof of the station”, in addition to renovating three of the six existing entrances and building a new one north of boulevard De Maisonneuve West, between McGill College Avenue and Robert-Bourassa Boulevard.
Paris will in turn end self-service electric scooter services from September 1, following in the footsteps of the Plante administration, which ruled out this option from 2020, after a single season. In Montreal, however, a pilot project is to be held this summer at Parc Jean-Drapeau, and could eventually produce small ones. Nearly 90% of the nearly 100,000 Parisians who voted voted against continuing to offer self-service scooters, in a ‘vote’ held over the weekend by the mayor’s administration Anne Hidalgo.