The city is testing out a new reserved bike-bus-taxi lane on a stretch of Viau Street for a year to see if it can untangle some of Montreal’s biggest traffic snarls.
STM chairman Philippe Schnobb said the city intentionally chose a wide artery for its pilot project, settling on a 1.7-kilometre stretch of Viau Street between Rosemont Boulevard and Pierre-de-Coubertin Avenue.
An average of 13,000 trips are taken every day on Viau Street buses.
The lane is divided into two — a one-metre-wide bike lane on the right-hand side and a standard width bus and taxi lane on the left.
“The signalization is very clear,” Schnobb said. “Cyclists have to go to the right. They have one metre of space to ride and the buses have 3.5 metres… Normally it should be very easy to share.”
He said there would be no physical barriers between the two lanes.
The bus and taxi lane is marked by the diamond shapes used to mark reserved lanes, and the city is asking drivers to heed them.
The reserved lane will run southbound in the morning and northbound in the afternoon, Monday to Friday.
The pilot project was put together by the city, the STM and Vélo Québec and should be in place for a year, after which the parties involved will evaluate its success.
The reserved bus lane project is one of the STM's new measures to improve bus service.