3good reasons to take public transit

Sustainable mobility is a key component to solving the many major environmental and social challenges that we face and need to address together as a community.

The first Plan stratégique de développement du transport collectif (Strategic Transit Development Plan) is being drafted and will provide the Greater Metropolitan Area of Montréal with a long-term vision that has numerous benefits for the population in terms of the environment, economy and public health.

You have a positive impact on the environment

Climate change is a threat to the environment and creates issues that impact us globally. It is primarily caused by greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions created by burning fossil fuels such as petroleum, which is still the most common energy source used to transport people and goods.

Road transportation alone creates 34.4% of GHG emissions1.

Improving public transit services, rethinking the space cars occupy in urban areas and promoting active transportation such as walking and cycling will help reduce GHG emissions and minimize upheavals that may be caused by climate change.

You contribute to the region’s economic vitality

By far, the car remains the mode of transportation people use most often. Over a 24-hour period, cars account for more than 65% of trips, whereas public transit accounted for only 18% in the region.

In the Greater Metropolitan Area of Montréal, car use is growing and its impact on traffic congestion creates over $4 billion in economic losses each year2.

According to the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montréal, a 3% increase in trips using public transit would result in $75.5 million in savings each year for all households combined.3.

The operating and capital expenditures of public transit agencies, moreover, generate hundreds of millions of dollars in economic benefits annually for the region.

An increase in trips using public and active transportation would contribute to the economic vitality of the region by reducing congestion and air pollution, and by stimulating our economy.

You help build healthier communities

Better air quality

Air pollution caused by road transportation has an impact on people’s health. According to the Government of Canada, air pollution caused by human activity has been linked to 14,400 premature deaths every year (Health Canada, 2017). Therefore, fewer cars on the road equals better air quality for everyone.

Fewer road accidents

In 2018, there were 410 road accidents involving serious injuries, 68 of which were fatal; roughly two-thirds involved pedestrians and cyclists in the metropolitan area (SAAQ, 2016). Reducing automobile traffic while improving public transit services decreases the risk of road accidents. Better public transit services must also include designing safe spaces for cyclists and pedestrians.

Greater physical activity

Over the past few decades, people have become less active, a result of urban development chiefly designed to facilitate car use. If this trend continues, 21 to 26% of Québecers will be obese by 20304. In Québec, costs due to obesity-related medication and disabilities were estimated at $1.45 billion in 20115.

Nearly 89% of trips using public transit in the metropolitan area begin or end with walking.

The World Health Organization (WHO) recommends that adults engage in 150 minutes of moderate physical activity a week to offset the negative impact of a sedentary lifestyle on their health. Cycling, walking or public transit as a main mode of transportation can contribute to achieving this goal.

Public and active transportation can reduce the risk of road accidents, offset the negative impact of physical inactivity on our health and help reduce air pollution.

Public transit:
a key component of the solution

The first Plan stratégique de développement du transport collectif (PSD) of the Greater Metropolitan Area of Montréal will propose concrete solutions that address the major issues we face as a society today. Its goal is for most trips to be made by either public transit or active transportation by 2050.

In 2020, citizens, community groups, and mobility partners will be invited to take part in a public consultation on the PSD as well as the proposed priority action areas to increase transit ridership and active transportation.

1 Ministère de l’Environnement et de la Lutte contre les changements climatiques, Inventaire québécois

des émissions de gaz à effet de serre en 2016 et leur évolution depuis 1990, 2018, 40 pages.

2  Les Conseillers économiques ADEC, Coûts socioéconomiques de la congestion routière à Ville de Laval et dans la Couronne Nord, April 16, 2018, 25 pages.

3 Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montréal, Le transport en commun au cœur du développement économique de Montréal, November 2010, 54 pages.

4 (Lo et coll.,2014,as cited in INSPQ,2019) Institut national de santé publique du Québec (INSPQ) (2019). L’obésité au Québec : ralentissement de l’augmentation, mais inégalités socio-économiques. Récupéré de https://www.inspq.qc.ca/santescope/analyses/obesite.

5 Institut national de santé publique du Québec (INSPQ) (2015). Les conséquences économiques associées à l’obésité et à l’embonpoint au Québec : les coûts liés à l’hospitalisation et aux consultations médicales. Retrieved from https://www.inspq.qc.ca/pdf/publications/1922_Consequences_Economiques_Obesite.pdf