Montreal's Le Boulevard shopping centre can stay in business after all. The news comes following an April announcement that Le Boulevard would be closing its doors after 68 years in operation, as the city of Montreal prepared to take over the property rights for the extension of the Société de transport de Montreal (STM)'s blue line.
According to a news release by Quebec's Ministry of Transport, the iconic shopping centre can remain open past December 1 when the STM officially becomes the owner of the property.
"One of the goals of the work was to limit the project's impact on the shopping centre and the activities of merchants," reads the ministry's statement.
The task force proposed revising the size of the terminal, the parking area and the centre's storage space for construction materials in order to preserve the building as a solution so that merchants could have the opportunity to continue to sell goods and services to shoppers, the news release says.
According to the ministry, the Quebec government's acquisition of the shopping centre was a decision made by the Tribunal administratif du Québec and was not foreseen by the STM.
At the time this was written, Le Boulevard's Facebook page was no longer active.
A few lucky Montreal-area residents will be able to test refilling their OPUS cards from their phones this fall and winter.
"During the experiment, which will run from September 14 to December 31, 2021, citizens will be invited to try out and comment on a function under development for reloading the OPUS card from a smartphone," the metro area's transit authority, the ARTM, said in a press release.
"Eventually," it continues, "this innovative and user-friendly feature will allow public transit users to consult the contents of their OPUS card, purchase tickets and add them to the card in a few moments from their smartphone."
The pre-pandemic monthly struggle of waiting in long lines to refill your OPUS card is all too familiar to Montreal transit riders.
We dare say there is NOTHING worse than forgetting to renew your monthly fare ahead of time and only realizing your mistake when you're late for work and come across the long line in your metro station.
STM, RTL, STL and exo riders can apply to participate in the experiment online. The lucky chosen ones will also have a chance to win one of five $100 prizes.
Montreal's Plaza Saint-Hubert is getting two self-driving buses that the public can ride for free as part of a pilot project that will be on from October to December 2021 and May to July 2022.
The two electric minibuses from the company Keolis will operate along a 2-kilometre loop between rues Saint-Hubert and Saint-André, and rues Beaubien and Jean-Talon.
There will be seven stops and the buses will reach a maximum speed of 20 km/h. Even though they're self-driving, an operator will still be aboard.
According to the city, the pilot project will study the "integration of this technology into the urban fabric" and will make possible the "cohabitation of autonomous shuttles with other means of transportation."
The buses will run "out of sync with the Line 30 buses in order to improve the population's active travel options."
There's enough room for 15 people aboard each bus, but, because of the current public health context, the city says only five will be allowed for the time being.
This article’s cover image was used for illustrative purposes only.
The City of Montreal has announced that it will be moving forward with investments on seven projects that were selected by Montrealers.
The investment will come from the city's first-ever participatory budget, which allowed citizens to choose their favourite projects.
Over a two-year period, $10 million will go to seven projects that got the most overall votes from the population. Six projects will be spread out over 14 boroughs and one project will encompass the entire territory of Montreal.
"What emerges from the selected projects is the importance that people place on improving their living environment, protecting nature in the city and reclaiming public spaces for the benefit of the entire population," Mayor Valérie Plante said in a statement.
The following projects were selected for investment:
A budget of $2.7 million will be used for building more than 125 water fountains that will allow for refilling reusable water bottles in Côte-des-Neiges–Notre-Dame-de-Grâce, Île-Bizard–Sainte-Geneviève, Mercier–Hochelaga–Maisonneuve, Outremont, Saint-Léonard and Ville-Marie.
The STM has unveiled its new plan to build more reserved bus lanes by 2025.
A collaboration with the City of Montreal, the plan will "translate into a series of measures to improve bus service on strategic axes of the Island of Montreal over the coming years," according to a press release.
Vision 2025 : un nouveau réseau structurant, fort et fiable
"We want Montrealers everywhere to have access to efficient, fast and frequent transportation services a few steps from their home or place of work," Mayor Valérie Plante said in the release.
"This strategy, which aims to increase the number of buses, reserved lanes and preferential measures for buses, will ensure smoother, faster and more reliable journeys by 2025."
The action plan is split into two parts: "improvement of the regular network" and "implementation of specific measures on targeted structuring axes," the STM says.
First, the STM will continue improving its existing structures by adding more reserved lanes and priority traffic lights "in sensitive sectors during peak periods."
"The emphasis will be placed on the establishment of reserved lanes on strategic axes in order to support employment sectors, developing sectors, the reduction of overcrowding and mitigation measures during major works," the company explained.
Finally, the STM will explore ways to develop more reserved lanes in targeted sectors. Intended to be complementary to the metro, these reserved lanes will be distinctive and provide reserved bus service 24/7.
"These scalable measures may not only include the establishment of reserved lanes with extended off-peak time slots, but also the development of RBS [rapid bus service] type infrastructure."
This article's cover image is used for illustrative purposes only.