Laurent Paquin: New spokesperson for In town without my car! - On September 22, the AMT welcomes you to the new Car-free City



    MONTREAL, Sept. 1 /CNW Telbec/ - Agence métropolitaine de transport (AMT)
today officially announced that the seventh annual In town without my car!
will take place in downtown Montreal on September 22.
    In the presence of Michel Labrecque, chairman of the board of directors
of the Société de transport de Montréal (STM) and municipal councillor in the
Plateau-Mont-Royal Borough at the Ville de Montréal, Alexandre Duplessis,
director, business development, at Transdev, the event's presenting sponsor,
and Laurent Paquin, the new spokesperson for In town without my car! Joel
Gauthier, president and chief executive officer of AMT, revealed the program
for the event.
    
    A revamped concept with an exciting program that reflects the human
    community
    
    This year, the AMT has planned a festive program in a completely revamped
concept. "On September 22 at 9:30 a.m., rather than closing off an area to
cars, we will be inaugurating a new car-free city," said Mr. Gauthier. "This
new city will have numerous activity points that I am sure will interest all
visitors. As people become increasingly aware of the positive actions they can
take for the environment, for the 7th edition of In town without my car!, the
AMT will give them a look at a city where transportation is fully sustainable,
active and resolutely public," he added.
    This year, instead of booths, there will be a host of entertaining and
interactive activities. Visitors will find themselves in the heart of a
recreated city with many public areas, including a School, City Hall, the
Business District, the Stock Exchange, the Market Square, the Community
Centre, etc. The Park will attract all those who love extreme sports, with
inline skating, skateboarding and BMX demonstrations. To the driving rhythms
of a DJ, there will be a friendly competition for up-and-coming Quebec
athletes at 6 p.m. This area will remain closed until 8 p.m. in order to
present activities after business hours.
    Starting at noon, Phillips Square will throb to the beat of the Porn
Flakes and their guests Bruno Landry, Patrick Bourgeois, Lulu Hughes, Martin
Fontaine, Elizabeth Blouin Brathwaite, etc. who will entertain visitors during
show presented by Le Diplomate. This will also be an opportunity to hear the
new In town without my car! theme song, written and performed by up-and-coming
singer-songwriter David Tremblay. The new song, entitled Un point c'est tout,
is full of hopeful messages and conveys the festive nature of the event. In
addition, this year's In town without my car! will be a little more high-tech,
with the Car-free City audioguide produced by Audiotopie and available as a
downloadable MP3 file on the AMT site (amt.qc.ca).

    Leaders in sustainable transportation

    Again this year, the AMT hopes to make people and companies more aware of
active public transit. In town without my car! is aimed at reducing excessive
reliance on single-occupant vehicles (SOVs) and informing the public of
various alternative methods of transportation. "Companies also play a major
role in raising awareness, and we would like to acknowledge their efforts
publicly," said Mr. Gauthier. To do so, the Centres de gestion des
déplacements de Montréal and the AMT will be presenting the Sustainable
Development Leader awards at a breakfast to be attended by companies and
institutions that have paved the way to better practices in sustainable
mobility over the past year.
    The AMT, in partnership with the Ville de Montréal and the STM, has
organized In town without my car! for the past seven years. "Since I am
responsible for transportation and public transit, I'm delighted with the
growth and development of In town without my car! and how the growing number
of participants reflects a collective desire to improve quality of life," said
André Lavallée, vice-chair of the Executive Committee, responsible for urban
planning and public transportation. This event is directly related to the goal
of the Ville de Montréal's transportation plan to reduce the number of
motorists on the Island and encourage the use of active public transit, and we
are proud to participate in it."

    The largest perimeter in the world

    For the duration of the event, the area bordered by McGill College and
Saint-Urbain (open) and René-Lévesque and de Maisonneuve (open) will be closed
to car traffic. The Place des Arts Esplanade (Sainte-Catherine, between
Jeanne-Mance and Saint-Urbain) will be closed from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. in order
to extend the event and present some of the activities on the program. This is
the largest area to be closed to all car traffic among the 1,300 cities that
organize similar events around the world.
    "A day like this makes us realize that SOVs figure too prominently in our
daily trips, on the highway network, in central districts and in the downtown
core. They rob space from active, public transit, and from homes and green
space. Events like this give us an opportunity take stock and to say this,
even if it's not what some people want to hear," said Michel Labrecque.

    Event partners

    It would be difficult to organize this type of event without the support
and cooperation of many other partners, including the Ministère des Transports
du Québec, the Ministère du Développement durable, de l'Environnement et des
Parcs du Québec, Transdev, Bombardier Transport, Transport Canada,
SNC-Lavalin, Corus, Le Diplomate, Audiotopie and Mountain Equipment Co-op.
Many other partners have contributed to ensuring the success of the event's
activities, presentations and demonstrations.
    Transdev has teamed up with this event for the third straight year and is
this year's presenting sponsor because the very spirit of this event reflects
Transdev's core objective of implementing transit solutions that bring people
together while protecting their environment. "By operating various modes of
transportation that offer flexibility, safety and comfort, we contribute to
the entire community's efforts to easing the burden on our planet," said
Alexandre Duplessis.

    New spokesperson

    "I chose to team up with this event because the environment is a cause I
take very seriously. Making small daily efforts such as using public transit,
even a couple of times a week, can make a big difference," said Laurent
Paquin, humorist and program host at CKOI. "I encourage everyone to take part
in this festive day chock-full of activities."
    "Corus Québec and its stations in Montreal are very pleased to partner
with the AMT's En ville, sans ma voiture! on September 22, and to take part in
reflecting on our transportation habits and choices," said Mario Cecchini,
vice-president of Corus Québec.

    A look back at 2008

    The sixth edition of the event in 2008 attracted nearly 50,000 people as
soon as the area was closed off to traffic, and the strong turnout continued
throughout the day. Air quality improved, with a 70% decrease in nitrogen
oxides within the event's perimeter, compared to readings taken the same day
outside the perimeter.
    A survey by Ipsos Descarie a few days afterward showed that there was
excellent awareness of the event: 96% of the respondents said they had heard
of the event, 48% of them had given thought to their commuting habits and 20%
said they intended to change these habits. A total of 94% respondents said
they were in favour of Car-free Day and hoped the area it covered would be
maintained or expanded.

    About the AMT

    The Agence métropolitaine de transport is a government agency with
metropolitan scope, which has the mission of expanding and planning public
transit services in order to improve the efficiency of individual travel in
the metropolitan Montréal area. The AMT currently operates 5 train lines, 52
stations, 2 metropolitan express bus lines, 61 park-and-ride lots, 16
metropolitan terminuses and 85.2 km of reserved lanes. Annual ridership on the
commuter train lines is close to 16 million passengers, which puts the greater
Montréal area in sixth place in North America. For more information, visit
amt.qc.ca.
    
    Additional information:

    Web site:            www.amt.qc.ca

    E-mail:              infosansvoiture@amt.qc.ca

    Customer service:    514 287-TRAM
    




For further information:

For further information: Marie-Claude Leroux, Morin Relations Publiques,
(514) 289-8688, ext. 224, Cell: (514) 705-5897; Charles Durivage, Morin
Relations Publiques, (514) 289-8688, ext. 227, Cell: (514) 894-4186

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