Montreal

Spurned on Metro expansion, Montreal mayor invites transport minister to ride Orange line

Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante has a proposal for Quebec's transport minister: ride the Orange line during rush hour to find out why her administration's proposed Pink line is needed.

Valérie Plante 'surprised' and 'disappointed' by François Bonnardel's rejection of Metro Pink line

The Montreal Metro's Orange line can be packed at rush hour, especially if there is a delay on the network. (Kate McKenna/CBC)

Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante has a proposal for Quebec's transport minister: ride the Orange line during rush hour to find out why her administration's proposed Pink line is needed.

Plante extended that invitation to François Bonnardel after he told reporters earlier this week the Pink line was "not a priority, short, medium or long term, for our government."

"Let's not forget that the Pink line is one of the solutions to take the pressure off the Orange line," the mayor said Wednesday.

Plante said she was "surprised" and "disappointed" by Bonnardel's definitive statement regarding the Metro expansion. She said Berri-UQAM is already at full capacity, and an alternative within the Metro system is badly needed.

On Monday, Bonnardel said the coming light-rail network, along with the expansion of the Metro's Blue line and the bus rapid transit route along Pie-IX Boulevard would help alleviate pressure on the Orange line.

When asked about Plante's offer on Wednesday, Bonnardel said he "would be happy to take the Metro with her."

Another line makes sense, STM says

In a recent interview on CBC Montreal's Daybreak, STM chair Philippe Schnobb said a rise in Metro ridership points to an urgent need for more public transit options.

Schnobb said it would make sense to build a new Metro line that doesn't go through Berri-UQAM.

As it stands, 66,000 people use that station every day between 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. — the equivalent of more than three sold-out hockey games at the Bell Centre, he said last November.

Montreal set aside $1 million in its most recent budget to study Plante's proposed Pink line, which would connect Montreal North to Lachine without going through Berri.

The proposed Pink line, which would connect Montreal North to Lachine without going through Berri-UQAM, was central to Plante's 2017 election campaign. (Projet Montréal)

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