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The Number Of Cars In Montreal Is Growing Faster Than The Population & It's A Nightmare

It seems Montrealers just can't stop loving their cars.
Staff Writer
The Number Of Cars In Montreal Is Growing Faster Than The Population & It's A Nightmare
  • The Communauté métropolitaine de Montreal (CMM) released a report stating that the number of cars in Montreal is growing faster than the actual population.
  • Despite huge investments in reliable alternative transport, Montrealers can't stop loving their cars.
  • Prepare yourself for some saddening statistics below.

Recent data on the number of passenger vehicles in Montreal reveals a stunning trend that is contrary to the city's desire to go green. According to a report from the Communauté métropolitaine de Montreal (CMM), the number of cars in Montreal is growing faster than the actual population. Over five years between 2013 and 2018, the number of passenger vehicles on Montreal's streets rose by 6.8% whereas population growth peaked at 4.6%.

In fact, the number of cars and SUVs exceeded 1.9 million in 2018. This means that there are now more cars than there are people in Montreal. 2016 census numbers say that there are some 1,704,694 living on the island. That's roughly almost 1 and a half cars for every person living on the island. In reality, though, many Montreal households own multiple cars. 

Somehow, despite everyone's desire to be green, the number of SUVs on the roads was almost on par with the number of cars. The overall number of small cars actually declined between 2013 and 2018 while the number of SUVs doubled. 

CMM data shows that over 1.2 million people in Montreal take their cars to work while only 415,705 people use public transit. Bike paths and public transit investments be damned - Montrealers, it seems, don't want to give up driving their cars.

This is a classic case of things not always being as they seem. Many of you might be surprised to find out about this data, as our city has an image of reliable public transit and bike networks.

Even our city's leadership champions alternative and active transportation, much to the chagrin of the city's drivers. The reality on the ground, however, is that cars and SUVs still overwhelmingly rule the streets of Montreal.

It'll be a hard task to become a net-zero emissions city by 2050 if we keep buying more cars than having babies. 

The city is undergoing huge public transit projects such as the REM and metro extensions despite Montrealers' love of gasoline. Experts hope that these investments will allow for more cars to be taken off the road, but if the data is any indication, that'll be easier said than done. 

READ ALSO: ARTM Released A Map Of What Montreal's Public Transit Network Will Look Like In The Future

On a personal note, I know many drivers who categorically refuse to take public transit or try biking despite how easy and accessible it is. 

No matter how much construction and traffic there constantly is, many Montrealers won't give up their cars. That might all have to change soon, however, because our infrastructure might not hold up. 

According to Radio-Canada, Montreal's road networks are nearly at a saturation level. Should the trends in the number of cars on our streets continue, our commute will go from difficult to nearly impossible. 

Unfortunately for everyone, traffic is going to get much worse if people don't stop buying cars. 

I get it, the convenience is too good to pass up, but do you have any idea how fun it is to ride an electric BIXI is? 

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