Montréal, May 15, 2015 – The Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal is pleased with the success of its Strategic Forum on Urban Mobility and Intelligent Transportation, which took place yesterday with the Minister of Transport and Minister responsible for the Montréal region, Robert Poëti, on hand. Over 400 decision makers gathered for the event, which took place at Montréal’s Centre Mont-Royal.
“The city is facing major challenges when it comes to improving people’s mobility,” said Michel Leblanc, President and CEO of the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal. “We have serious traffic problems, which cost the city’s economy $1.8 billion every year. The many road improvement projects needed to make up for the infrastructure maintenance deficit further aggravate the situation. Today’s Strategic Forum was an opportunity to discuss solutions that are currently available or will be soon to improve traffic flow in Montréal.”
Harness increased land values and a kilometre tax
“Public transit needs to be developed to respond to demographic growth and help people get around more efficiently, while respecting government’s ability to pay,” Michel Leblanc said. “So we need to innovate to properly finance strategic infrastructures. This is why the idea of harnessing increased land values, presented this morning by National Bank of Canada, is an interesting one that would help us finance new transportation infrastructures such as a light rail transit system for the new Champlain Bridge. The kilometre tax is a solution that significantly reduced traffic in cities such as Eindhoven. There is no doubt that these solutions would help solve the issue of financing infrastructures, while improving traffic flow.”
Different modes of public transit to facilitate urban mobility
“Thanks to the creativity of local entrepreneurs, Montréal companies are at the cutting edge, proposing innovative solutions to facilitate travel for different needs,” Mr. Leblanc said. “Applications have been created to allow us to leverage different modes of public transit to reduce solo driving. We have to support these technological developments to allow companies to export their concepts. Montréal’s international image can only benefit.”
Taxi, Uber or Taxelco?
“Taxis and car sharing services need to make it a priority to meet customer expectations,” Michel Leblanc said. “The increasing popularity of Uber shows the new standards for quality users are demanding: pleasant, safe travel, clean, punctual vehicles, courteous, personalized service and the ability to make arrangements via mobile app, whether ordering a car, knowing when it will arrive, paying by credit card, obtaining a receipt via email or commenting on the experience. The taxi industry needs to make changes to respond to these new demands, and regulations need to adapt to innovations that meet customer needs. Whether we’re talking about transforming taxis, introducing Taxelco or developing Uber, the Board of Trade believes that the solution that puts in place all of these winning conditions will be the right one.”
Electric public transit beginning in 2016
“This morning’s event highlighted innovations in intelligent transportation,” Michel Leblanc said. “The STM took the opportunity to unveil the brand new electric bus that is part of the City Mobility program. The first Novabus prototypes will hit the streets of Montréal beginning in 2016. In Laval, priority traffic signals have helped buses run on time and increased the number of riders. We need to create conditions that will allow transit companies to keep up the momentum and offer users increasingly efficient service.”
About the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal
The Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal has over 7,000 members. Its mission is to be the voice of Montréal’s business community and to promote the city’s prosperity. It is involved in key areas of economic development, advocating a philosophy of action based on engagement, credibility, proactivity, collaboration and innovation. The Board of Trade also offers a range of specialized services to individuals and to business of all sizes to support them in their growth at home and abroad.
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Michelle LLambias Meunier
Advisor, Media Relations
Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal
Tel.: 514 871-4000, ext. 4042
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