Large transit projects are a priority for Quebecers

Les grands projets de transport en commun sont une priorité pour les Québécois

Photo: Jacques Nadeau Le Devoir
71% of the respondents wish to see the realization of the project pink line of the Montreal metro.

The very great majority of Quebecers see the investment in major transit projects as a priority, and yet, few of them say they currently use public transport rather than their car when it is possible to do so.

This dichotomy emerges from a study on sustainable mobility from the Barometer CIRANO 2018 (Centre interuniversitaire de recherche en analyse des organisations), the results of which are announced on Thursday evening.

“There is really a great will of Quebecers to move towards sustainable mobility, underlines Nathalie de Marcellis Warin, co-author of the study, president and ceo of CIRANO and professor at the ecole Polytechnique. Now, this is of course […] that it will be necessary that they pass to the practice. I think that the supply of public transit, and new projects will be able to take action. [Quebecers] are ready to change, but it is necessary that there is a suitable offer. “

Thirst for large projects

The study reveals that a high percentage of Quebecers (83% or ” aspire to see the development of major transit projects “. The people of the greater Montréal region are more likely to encourage such projects (86 % compared to 78 % in the Quebec city region). Least 35 years of age are also more likely to approve that the over 75 years of age (86 % vs. 64 %).

But if Quebecers wish to see public transit grow, they always seem hesitant to use it themselves.

“The researchers have observed a certain dichotomy between the aspirations of Quebecers and their reality “, note-t-on. Thus, only 29% of respondents said they use transit rather than drive when possible.

We note, however, that nearly half of the respondents would opt more for this mode of travel if the offer was better suited to their needs.

“One has the impression that there are people who would, but for whom this is not suitable : the times are not suitable, the itinerary, things like that. It don’t seem to be suited to their needs “, says Mme de Marcellis-Warin.

Of the REM to the pink line

Among the major transit projects that have already been raised, it is the express Network metropolitan (REM), which seems to be more popular with Quebecers, in support of 77 %.

The project pink line of the metro of Montreal by the mayor Valérie Plant is also well received, with 71% of respondents wishing to see it come to fruition.

On the side of Quebec, the arrival of a tram would be welcomed by 70 % of respondents.

The transportation plan of the Parti québécois, the ” Great Release “, shows, however, is less popular, since it receives the support of 53 % of the respondents.

“When you look at the paper, all the percentages are quite high. The only one who was a little further down, this was the project of the PQ, the Big Release for the Montreal […] The REM, everybody talks about it, the pink line also, the tram ride to Quebec it is important. I think the Big Release […] has not the same resonance, the same level of knowledge. This was not at all the same coverage in the media, the same way you talk about. I think it is a lack of knowledge, people do not know, that’s all, ” offers Ms. de Marcellis-Warin to explain the differences of opinion.

Electric vehicles and autonomous

The study indicates that the great majority of Quebecers (86 %) would like to see more electric vehicles on the road.

Note also that 91% of respondents who believe that climate change is caused by human activity are favourable to electric vehicles, while this percentage drops to 61 % for those who believe that climate change is not proven scientifically.

Autonomous vehicles are proving less popular, with only 37 % of the respondents would like to see more.

“[It’s still] a lot, too, because there are a lot of people who do not know what is autonomous vehicles, which is ask questions, ” Mme de Marcellis-Warin, who note that respondents who distrusted the autonomous vehicles were often the same who manifested some concern to the artificial intelligence in another part of the study.

“Those who were not, it was also often the ones who told us : “I do not know what is artificial intelligence, I am worried about the developments of artificial intelligence, I’m worried for robots”, things like that. “

The researchers also note that two fatal accidents involving autonomous vehicles were occurring in the United States in the days prior to the collection of data, which has been cause of concerns about this type of vehicles among the respondents.

The survey was conducted between the 5 and the 10 April 2018 with 1013 respondents representative of the population of Québec, note the CIRANO.