Transportation plan for the metropolitan region: an excellent planning effort and well targeted investments - the Board of Trade nonetheless wants more detailed economic information on certain projects
Mr. Pierre Laferrière, president, Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal
Montreal, April 12, 2000 "The transportation management plan for the Montreal metropolitan region announced today by Transport Minister Guy Chevrette with Premier Lucien Bouchard is an excellent planning effort with precise objectives and committed budgets for a five-year period. On the whole, we are satisfied with this plan, declared Mr. Pierre Laferrière, president of the Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal.
"This long awaited plan responds to most of the criteria determined by the Board's Transportation Committee:
- to provide justification for the projects;
- to provide a complete cost benefit analysis;
- to provide a detailed analysis of the means of financing;
- to point out the project's consequences and impact.
"Overall, the plan submitted by the Minister presents clear objectives based on a thorough analysis of the situation with which we agree. The free flow of traffic aimed at by this plan is undoubtedly a major preoccupation for citizens and businesses alike.
"We are pleased to note that the largest amounts of this well-balanced plan are allocated to key problems on the Island of Montreal itself. Restoration of the Metropolitan, construction of a boulevard on Notre-Dame East, the opening of Cavendish Boulevard and full restoration of the Dorval interchange are all, in our view, key priorities.
"The extension of Highway 30 and use of the Champlain Bridge access ramps and the construction of new bridges are also key projects and we are supportive of the Minister's approach to the private sector to achieve these projects.
"However, for the short term, the Board hopes that more in-depth cost benefit studies will be completed and made public (or make known, if already existing) as to subway extensions to the East of Montreal, Laval and South Shore. Although the extension of the Metro system is considered an interesting investment in the long term, we must ensure that the foreseen clientele justifies the sizeable amounts dedicated to these projects.
"We strongly support the Minister's objective to reduce the region's congested highways, concluded Mr. Laferrière, and hope the Transport Minister will have efficient monitoring tools to reach his objectives during the coming years."
The Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal has more than 7 000 members. Its mission is to be the leading group representing the interests of the Greater Montreal business community. The objectives are to maintain, at all times, relevance to its membership, credibility towards the public and influence towards government and decision-makers.