Montreal's mobility squad is coming soon to every borough near you
Before, squad was only patrolling streets in 6 boroughs, but that will change come springtime
Starting this spring, no major Montreal road will be safe for traffic scofflaws: the city's mobility squad will soon be patrolling streets in all 19 boroughs, seven days a week.
The goal of the squad, created in 2018, is to improve traffic circulation by mitigating the impact of construction sites and illegally parked vehicles, for example.
Mobility squad agents have the same powers as parking agents and can give out fines for parking violations.
But the squad's mission isn't to hand out fines, said Sylvain Ouellet, executive committee member responsible for the road network — it's to help change people's habits.
Between June 2018, when the squad was established, and Dec. 31, 2019, agents carried out 10,504 interventions, resulting in 2,000 tickets being doled out.
Hiring 5 new agents
The squad received an additional $500,000 in the 2020 city budget, bringing its total budget to $1.4 million.
With that money, five new agents will be hired, bringing the total to 16, along with a researcher tasked with using data to identify recurrent problems and possible solutions, Ouellet said.
Right now, the agents are on duty Monday to Friday, from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. Most interventions occur very early in the morning, Ouellet explained. That intervention can be the difference between a normal rush hour and a nightmare rush hour.
On weekends, construction sites and special events have an effect on traffic, too, prompting the decision to send the agents out on weekends, as well.
It is still unclear, however, what the weekend hours will be, Ouellet said.