You may have heard rumblings over the last few years (more like 13 years, but whatever) that Pie-IX boulevard would be getting a major public transit upgrade, with a dedicated "bus rapid transit" network to be put in place.
But what was once a possible plan has become an outright city project, as Montreal has officially begun the process of creating a $305 million BRT network along Pie-IX boulevard.
Now lets get into what that actually means for you.
For those wondering, a "bus rapid transit" (or "service rapide par bus/SRB") is kind of like the fusion between a metro and a bus line.
Seen in many major cities, a SRB network allows for bus to speedily run its route, as it has its own dedicated street lane and thus isn't affected by traffic. Passengers can also board in an easier and safer fashion, as custom-built loading docks are in place along the SRB line.
The SRB Pie-IX (as the project is called by the City of Montreal) will run along Pie-IX boulevard (obviously) from Saint-Martin street in Laval to Pierre-de-Coubertin in Downtown Montreal. You can get a pretty good look at the stretch of the route in the arial photo below.
Linking Montreal's urban core to Laval, and everything in between, will be a major boon to many commuters, especially when you factor in how the SRB Pie-IX will be running 24/7. In total, the SRB Pie-Ix is projected to provide 70, 000 trips every single day.
And if you're ever worried about when the next SRB is coming, the newly built access docks will be outfitted with info displays that will provide you with such information.
The City of Montreal also notes that the urban redevelopment work that will go into creating the SRB Pie-IX will also benefit the boroughs it runs through. With that, residents of Montreal-Nord, Villeray-Saint-Michel-Parc-Extension, Rosemont-La Petite-Patrie and Mercier-Hochelaga-Maisonneuve can look forward to wider sidewalks, new urban greenery, and updated street lights. Well, along the boulevard, at least.
Don't get too excited, though, because the SRB Pie-IX is still a ways away. Montreal has only just signed off on a contract that will begin all of the logistics of the project, and work won't begin until 2018, according to JdM. The completion date is even farther off, set at 2022.
But hey, it's Montreal, and waiting for major construction projects to be completed is just part of living in the city. Besides, the SRB Pie-IX looks like it'll be worth the wait. To find out more about the project, head to Montreal-Nord's website here.
*Photos courtesy of Montreal-Nord2020