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Alternatives to the Dalhousie Corridor

Existing situation:   Currently, buses arrive in Griffintown via the Champlain Bridge and Autoroute 10 (Bonaventure Expressway). They follow Duke, William and Inspecteur streets northbound toward the Terminus Centre-Ville (TCV). The southbound routes either follow the expressway from its start, or enter it via Nazareth Street. A reserved bus lane is present on Duke Street and a short reserved right of way precedes the TCV. All other city streets are shared between buses and private vehicles.


The SHM's two primary transportation objectives for the Quartier Bonaventure are to:
  • Maximize the number of trips (people) in the corridor so as to ensure the efficiency of current and future service of the downtown and adjacent areas (Récollets faubourg and Griffintown);
  • Promote public transportation as the preferred mode of moving people by giving it precedence over road traffic

Comparison of Competing Alternatives

  Description Advantages Disadvantages Notes
Bus Current situation. Buses circulate on shared streets with some reserved lanes
  • Lowest infrastructure investment
  • Flexible routing
  • Least efficient
  • Operating costs
  • Fossil-fuel based
  • Polluting
  • Safety
During rush hours, one bus would have to pass every 15 seconds in each direction in order to satisfy demand. The same is true for BRT. Since the Champlain Bridge reserved lane is already operating at capacity, and the TCV above capacity, any bus solution is limited in scale.
Bus Rapid Transit (BRT) Proposed Dalhousie Corridor. Buses circulate on exclusive right-of-way.
  • Less expensive infrastructure than rail
  • Improved bus efficiency
  • Less efficient than rail
  • Operating costs
  • Fossil-fuel based
  • Polluting
The Dalhousie Corridor would not be a true BRT given the number of intersections with traffic lights. The advantages of the exclusive right-of-way can be completely negated by congestion at intersections.
Tramway Light rail operating on shared city streets.
  • Good value
  • Electric
  • Operating costs
  • Prone to disruption by competing traffic
  • Lower capacity than LRT
Tramway would require new infrastructure in order to cross the Peel Basin, if it remains on the Bonaventure axis. Alternatively, tramways could use the existing Wellington tunnel/bridge to cross the Lachine Canal and continue beyond. Projet Montréal propose the latter including a Victoria Bridge crossing in their brief.
Light Rail Transit System (LRT) Light rail operating on exclusive right-of-way.
  • High-capacity
  • Efficient
  • Electric
  • Better value than Métro
  • Infrastructure / right-of-way costs
LRT has been studied by the AMT in 2007 and would use the Bonaventure axis with a station between William and Ottawa streets. Although the project was slated for implementation, it is stalled pending a cost-effective means of crossing the St-Lawrence Seaway. The RTL, which operates the most buses on Bonaventure, prefers this solution. The CSRG proposes a phased development of the LRT in their brief.
Commuter Train High-capacity train operating on standard railways.
  • Uses existing infrastructure
  • Easily deployed
  • High-capacity
  • Efficient
  • Scheduling conflicts with freight / passenger trains
  • Limited between-peak service
Commuter trains currently cross the Victoria and Mercier (rail) bridges en-route to St-Hilaire and Delson-Candiac. Service has recently been upgraded on the St-Hilaire line. Vision Montréal proposes a new train to La Prairie via the Victoria Bridge in their brief and press release.
Métro High-capacity underground transit system.
  • Exclusive, protected infrastructure
  • Most expensive infrastructure
The Yellow Métro line currently connects Montréal with Longueuil. Extensions to this line are planned. A second Métro line to the South Shore on the Champlain axis would be prohibitively expensive.
  Light Rail Transit Station on Existing Elevated Expressway
  The above rendering shows a Light Rail Transit (LRT) station on the existing elevated expressway between William and Ottawa streets. The expressway would equally serve as a prestigious elevated park with magnificent views of downtown and complete detachment from street-level nuisances. By using standard-gauge rail, both LRT trains and tramways could use the right-of-way, serving destinations from McGill and Bonaventure Métro stations to the South-Shore and all points in between. Gutted buses on expressway asphalt serve as shelters reminding commuters of the previous transportation arrangement and symbolise the victory of electric transportation over fossil-fuels. A signature building bordering Wellington street integrates the Cité Multimédia and Griffintown, and connects directly to the station. This is part of the Comittee for the Sustainable Redevelopment of Griffintown's redevelopment plan.