| Environmental Columns
A shared journey is better!
The transportation sector is the largest source of GHG emissions in the country. In Québec, the consequences of solo driving are illustrated by the staggering number of empty seats during the daily commute: during the week, 24,900,000 seats are empty, including 14,312,000 in the Montréal area! This large number of vehicles on the roads causes significant congestion. We need to travel more efficiently to make traffic more fluid, reduce our gas bill and collectively improve our environmental impact.
How to travel better?
Cycling and walking are so-called active and non-polluting modes of transportation. They provide several health benefits like reduced stress, more energy, and less obesity and disease. The budget devoted by a Canadian to their vehicle was, on average, $10,912 per year in 2012 compared to $220 per year for a bicycle. In urban areas, one-third of trips to a workplace are less than 5 km. Over these distances, a bicycle is faster, as it is not affected by traffic jams and the availability of parking spaces. Beyond a certain distance and in the absence of congestion, vehicles are faster than public or active transportation. Yet a vehicle is not an individual mode of transportation; it is part of the public road and highway system on which it depends to travel. To fight against solo driving, we must diversify the methods of transportation. The number of vehicles per driver plays a significant role when it comes time for a resident of Québec to choose between their vehicle and the bus to get around. Carsharing is a service that gives members access to a motor vehicle at all times without being the owner, subject to membership and user fees. There are various online carsharing platforms such as Turo. Also, the covoiturage.ca and Amigo Express websites are carpooling platforms.
What is inter modality?
Intermodality is a principle of organization and articulation of the transport offer aimed at coordinating several transport systems through specific management and development of the interfaces between the different modes of travel, in other words, facilitating the successive use of several modes of transportation during a single journey. Travelling this way allows to move with greater flexibility, simultaneously improving the efficiency of existing transport.
What are the advantages of public and alternative transportation?
The more we use public transportation, the more we reduce the number of vehicles on the roads. This reduces the stress associated with driving and traffic jams. Carpooling, for example, allows to develop new social ties and save money (share fuel costs and reduce maintenance costs linked to the wear and tear of vehicles). The resulting reduction in traffic frees up more time for motorists and reduces commuting times. In addition, lower GHG emissions lead to improved air quality. Intermodality allows us to be more physically active by including active transportation in more trips. Otherwise, these trips would be difficult to achieve only by these active modes. This practice promotes access to businesses and services that are inaccessible to households that do not own a vehicle. For others, the use of a variety of modes of transportation can significantly reduce travel expenses.
The federal government has announced a ban on the sale of light-duty gasoline vehicles for 2035. Currently, EXO has reserved two parking spaces at the Gare de la Ville. A lane is also reserved on Saint-Jean Boulevard from Fairview to Pierrefonds Boulevard.
When vehicles are used responsibly, they can help reduce motorization while intensifying public transportation to make our roads more comfortable and pleasant.
Vivre en ville, volume 3, Réunir les modes : L’intermodalité au service de la mobilité durable.