Montreal

Water taxi linking Pointe-aux-Trembles to Old Port launches for season

The river shuttle linking Montreal's east end to the Old Port has launched for the season, operating seven days a week until mid-September.

Shuttle will operate 7 days a week until mid-September

The water taxi runs between Pointe-aux-Trembles and the Old Port. The cost per foot passenger is $3.50 and $4.50 for cyclists. (Lauren McCallum/CBC)

Heading downtown from Pointe-aux-Trembles and worried about congested roads? Try the river route instead. 

A water-taxi service on the St. Lawrence River, connecting the east-end borough to the Old Port, launched Sunday morning.

Last year, 4,604 riders took advantage of the service during a five-day pilot project. That prompted the borough, in association with its partners, to launch a seasonal service that will run from now until mid-September.

The trip takes 22 minutes by boat, as opposed to about an hour by car during rush hour. 

Pedestrians will pay $3.50 for the trip, while those with a bicycle will pay $4.50. The shuttle will run every 30 minutes during rush hour and every 60 minutes throughout the day.

A ride from Pointe-aux-Trembles to the Old Port of Montreal will cost $3.50 and take a maximum of 30 minutes. (Radio-Canada)

You can hop on at 2 Saint-Jean-Baptiste Boulevard in Pointe-aux-Trembles and disembark at the Old Port, at the Jacques-Cartier Pier.

Looking forward to new ferry

Pointe-aux-Trembles resident Sonia Melançon tested out the water-taxi service last summer.

"I really liked it," she told CBC News. "What I loved the most was, on the boat, you feel like you're almost on vacation."

"It's sort of freeing to be on a boat, your hair flying in the air. It's very fun."

Sonia Melançon says she appreciates the fact that the water taxi is better for the environment and more relaxing than taking her car to work. (Submitted by Sonia Melançon )

Public transit, she says, can take up to two hours as there is no direct link between her home and her work in Pointe-Saint-Charles.

She takes her bike on the ferry, and including 15 minutes of cycling to get to and from the launch, her total commute time is only a little more than half an hour, she said.

The extra dollar it costs to take her bike on the new ferry system is worth it, said Melançon.

"It takes away all the stress of being in the traffic and the congestion and driving your car," she said. "Also, it's nice to keep in shape with a little bike commute." 

The new ferry is operated by Quebec's provincial ferry service (STQ), and the fares are not transferable to Montreal's public transit system, the STM. 

Authorities are looking into ways of making the boat accessible to those with reduced mobility.

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