Public transit grows slightly in Montreal area, but cars remain the ride of choice

via Montreal Gazette

The proportion of Montreal area residents who use public transit to get to work is slowly growing, according to a study made public on Sunday.

The study, carried out for the Montreal Metropolitan Community (MMC), indicates that the Montreal area has the third largest proportion of workers who commute using public transit, behind New York and Toronto.

But if the train, métro and bus have gained overall in popularity over the past 15 years, it has still managed to lose ground in a third of Montreal area municipalities.

And public transit’s gains have been made thanks to a drop in car pooling and walking — not single user car use — which remains the means of transportation most favoured by 65 per cent of area commuters.

In fact, the number of those who commute by automobile have seen their ranks grow by 142,000.

Between 2001 and 2016, the proportion of those commuting from their homes to their workplace via public transit rose from 22.1 per cent to 23.5 per cent.

Meanwhile, the proportion of commuting cyclists in the Montreal are grew from 1.3 to 2.1 per cent, with most of that gain realized in the downtown area.

Philippe Rivet, who is responsible for the study, says the MMC hopes increase the proportion of public transit users to 35 per cent by 2031. 

Noting that public transit use will grow as more money is invested in the expansion of the existing network, Rivet points to the success of the Orange line extension of the métro into Laval in 2007 as an example.