Montreal wants tolls on all south shore spans

Posted By: Michel Boyer · 2/3/2013 1:55:00 PM

Montreal’s executive committee called for tolls on all south shore spans, including the new Champlain bridge.

Réal Ménard, executive committee member in charge of transport, made the announcement at a news conference Sunday morning.

“A toll system is very important for us because we provide new money to pay for the public transportation system,” said Ménard.

Mayor Michael Applebaum sent a letter to federal Transport minister Denis Lebel saying the city wants the new Champlain to have eight lanes, two of which would be reserved for public transit.

The exact kind of public transit system will be determined by the Montreal transit agency (AMT), the city said, this coming spring.

The city is throwing its support behind a light rail system which would run from the south shore, onto the new Champlain, through Griffintown and end in the downtown core.

“Of course it is expensive,” admitted Ménard. “It’s close to $2 billion, and that’s the reason why we say if we have the toll system part of the income will be dedicated to the government of Quebec.”

Ménard said that if there is only a toll system on the Champlain, people will avoid using the new span all together.

“You can imagine people will use less the Champlain bridge,” Ménard said. “They’re going to use more the bridge Jacques-Cartier.”

Motorists contribute 7-percent of the city’s public transit system, Ménard said. For those who don’t use busses and metros, he said we are all part of one city and everyone needs to chip in.

He said it is still too early to get into details about how the toll system will work, citing it is now up to the province and the Canadian government to discuss the scenarios.

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