Quebec urged to invest more in roads, not transit

Quebeckers would rather see money invested into fixing roads and easing traffic congestion rather than improving the public transit system, according to a new poll by Transport Quebec.

Transport Quebec survey finds two-thirds of respondents want more investments in roadwork

A recent Transport Quebec survey found residents would be in favour of the government investing more in roadwork instead of public transit. (CBC)

Quebeckers would rather see money invested in fixing roads and easing traffic congestion rather than improving the public transit system, according to a new poll by Transport Quebec.

More than 14,000 people across the province were asked where their hard-earned tax dollars should be invested and two-thirds of respondents said fixing roadways came out on top.

"Road users need a well-maintained road network because that constitutes the backbone of any strategy of mobility," said Cedric Essiminy, spokesperson for Canadian Automobile Association Quebec.

The survey results also show that Quebecers hold a low opinion of public transit overall, and oppose taxing drivers who use the roads.  

Public transit advocate and executive director of Transport 2000 Quebec Normand Parisien said the opinions about public transit will remain unchanged unless the provincial and federal governments invest in the province's infrastructure.  

"It's not attractive for the populations to take twice the amount of time spent in public transit as opposed to in private cars, so this is an unsustainable situation," said Parisien.  

The province announced in its last budget plans to spend $9.5 billion on average each year for the next five years on capital investments, which includes road and transit infrastructure.  

In early May the Quebec government announced $1.3 billion in road work for the city of Montreal.  

'Were does our money go?'

But for all the traffic delays caused by repairs, some road users are struggling to see any sign of improvements.  

"When they patch the roads it's bad.  They don't do it correctly.  Where does our money go?," one driver told CBC News.  

The survey is one of several tools Transport Quebec is using to gauge the public's opinion on transportation issues, including recent public consultations in Montreal and Quebec City.  

"We've received more than 100 essays regarding the topic," said Transport Quebec spokesperson Caroline Larose. "We also had more than 200 participants in those public consultations that took place this spring."  

Transport Quebec will present the results of its findings to the provincial government in the fall.