While the Quebec government waits to make a decision on Quebec City’s transit restructuring project, the Réseau de Transport de la Capitale (RTC) says it doesn’t have many options available to significantly improve its busiest roads. : 800 and 801.
Fall 2023 data shows that on Routes 800 and 801, maximum passenger capacity is reached during morning peak hours. according to RTCAdding departure flights on these routes would lead to congestion between buses, as the time interval between each of them is short, creating what the organization calls
Bus train near Parliament Hill.
Photo: Radio-Canada/Olivia Laperrière-Roy
Across the entire network, including buses, Express and Métrobus, passenger numbers in September 2023 were back at 88% of what they were in October 2019. RTC It expected an 84% recovery in 2023, which exceeds expectations. The spokesperson points out that the recovery is more pronounced for metrobuses than for express buses.
Even if ridership doesn’t quite return to pre-pandemic levels, it’s only a matter of time before we find ourselves in the same saturation situation as we were in 2019 and perhaps even when we “get past it.” Moreover, the RTC It is considered that the situation before the epidemic was not ideal.
Already next year, we believe we can reach 90% of passengers“, specifies Luke Samson, Head of Planning Services at RTC.
The network expects an 11% increase in trips to the city center by 2041. The organization stresses that the RTC will not have the capacity to accommodate these new trips.
Yes, in the meantime, we will take action, but there will be no substantive improvements without moving toward a more capable situationLuke Samson says.
A few optimization options
In the city, STM has implemented measures to improve the speed and efficiency of its bus routes. For example, boarding is permitted through all hinged vehicle doors at certain stations, and users queue at the stops.
These are things that have already been questioned (Such and such) in RTCIt’s certainly easier when these are areas that are easy to supervise. When it’s on sidewalks, it’s a little more difficultthe nuance of the head of service planning.
These are marginal gains that improve the system, but will not revolutionize it.
He also has reservations about increasing efficiency if the bus is crowded anyway.
If the bus is already full and once on board, people have to squeeze to get to the back of the bus, it is still difficultHe specifies.
Metrobuses 800 and 801 have the advantage of traveling on reserved lanes on several sections of their route, and like other buses, they have priority at red lights when they are delayed on their route. Here too, maximum improvements have been reached according to Luc Samson.
Of course, reserved lanes always make the system more efficient, but there are places where this is not possible because there are ultimately only two traffic lanes. I think of Limoilou for example, where we don’t have the option of living togetherHe explains.
The effect of reserved lanes is also limited when several buses converge at the same place.
Despite the reserved lanes, we are still reaching saturation level, especially in Parliament House where there are also express trains coming alongside.continues the head of service planning.
Reserved lanes are not always respected by motorists. The police sometimes carry out operations to arrest the perpetrators.
Photo: Radio-Canada/Carl Boivin
Do RTC Can their capacity simply be increased by purchasing larger or longer buses? According to Luke Samson, these acquisitions will come with other investments because it will be necessary to upgrade the infrastructure along the roads.
Today, all stopping areas are designed for articulated buses as we have them at the moment and I’m not convinced that longer buses could switch to the stops we have at the end of the lineHe says.
Therefore, the transportation company relies on structuring the transportation network to change the image of public transportation in Quebec and improve its services.
Meanwhile, the staff got to work in anticipation of the tramway’s arrival and construction.
The plan we had was still very advanced. We just want to finish our analysis, so we won’t have to redo much if it comes back and we can publish itLuke Samson adds.
Like Quebec City, the RTC will now have to wait until June to find out what transportation project awaits it and carry out its planning.
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