QUEBEC CITY, Aug. 24, 2017 /CNW Telbec/ - A recent survey shows that no fewer than 81% of CAA-Quebec members agree that a strategic transport network such as a bus rapid transit (BRT) link, subway or tramway should be implemented in Quebec City.1 They have high expectations, however, demanding greater transparency and improvements in the existing service for all users, including those in outlying areas.
The survey results, along with a list of 10 recommendations, were outlined in a brief submitted to Quebec City authorities (in French) on August 11 as part of a consultation on sustainable mobility and potential strategic transit network solutions.
Motorists support public transit
"Even though 9 out of 10 respondents mainly use the automobiles for their daily travel needs, the vast majority (81%) believe that Quebec City has everything to gain from implementing a strategic transit network," says Sophie Gagnon, CAA-Quebec's Vice President, Communications and Public Affairs. "It's often said that everybody's a winner with sustainable mobility, and our survey shows that our members, the majority of whom are motorists, are convinced of this as well," she adds.
Moreover, 51% of respondents who don't use public transit say they would use a BRT, tram or subway network if one existed (15% said they "definitely" would, and 36% said they "probably" would). "It's therefore reasonable to assume that implementation of a strategic network would persuade many people to leave their cars at home and take public transit, which in turn would ease traffic congestion," Ms. Gagnon notes.
Members' concerns and expectations
The number one criterion for ensuring that members get on board with the project is this: the City must clearly demonstrate that whatever system is chosen, it will be efficient (the factor was cited by 85% of respondents). They also want to be reassured. The main concern by far is cost, followed by logistics-related issues: inconvenience during the work phase, and eventual losses of traffic lanes and parking spaces.
Improved service right away, please!
Respondents to the survey also believe the city's priority should be to improve the existing transit network. From routes that are too long to the excessive number of transfers required to service schedules poorly matched to working hours, the list of grievances is long. "People want an efficient solution—nothing spectacular, necessarily—but one that provides decent service to outlying areas and the industrial parks," Ms. Gagnon insists.
What CAA-Quebec members have to say about a structure-enhancing network
- 36% want a BRT link, 23% would like to see a subway, 16% think a tramway is best, and 16% believe a commuter rail line is the solution;
- Reasons why the planned BRT project would likely fail: the route in the Lower Town, the loss of traffic lanes, and the withdrawal of the city of Lévis;
- 76% believe that the various levels of government, along with the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, need to be involved;
- 85% feel that Lévis must be part of the strategic network;
- 91% think that addition of incentive parking is an essential condition of the project.
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1The full results are available at www.caaquebec.com.
Online survey conducted from June 16 to 26, 2017, of 894 francophone CAA-Quebec members aged 18 to 74 and residing in the Greater Quebec City area. Margin of error: ± 3.3%.
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