Hey everyone! for this discussion, I want to talk about our downtown. I know and we all know that we have a unique and busy downtown compared to other cities and one that is envied by others as well. But I've been noticing a lot of people from the city and tourists saying how quickly the downtown area gets "dead" after 9 pm (in winter and summer). Personally, I disagree 110% since I find the downtown bust from 5am-3am every day no matter what season. But what do you guys think? is the downtown area getting busier or "quieter" as others have been saying, and if so, what would you do to make it livelier? I definitely want to hear others opinions on this and see others observations as well.
STM plans to build solar-powered bus shelters
Panels could be used to power lighting * and illuminate revenue-producing ads
By Monique Beaudin, The GazetteFebruary 2, 2009
Montreal’s public-transit agency is planning to spend $14.4 million to buy 400 new bus shelters – some of which would use solar panels to provide electricity.
The new shelters need an energy source to allow the Société de transport de Montréal to use new tools to provide customer service and advertising.
In some cases the shelters would be powered by solar energy, in others the shelters would be linked into a local source of electricity.
Several other cities – including London, Vancouver and Toronto – already have bus shelters that use solar panels to charge batteries that power their lighting systems. Blainville, north of Mont-real, put up four such shelters in October and plans to replace all its bus shelters with solar-powered ones by 2010, said spokesperson Yves Meunier.
Blainville’s plan was to make their bus shelters self-financing, by using revenue generated from selling advertising in the shelters. For that they needed an energy source to illuminate the ads.
“People selling advertising want the ads to be visible for a certain number of hours every day, especially during the winter,” Meunier said.
Blainville’s bus shelters – which cost about $30,000 each – were designed and built by a local firm, Meunier said. The city will recycle the old shelters by selling them to other municipalities, he added.
The STM also expects that by selling ad space in its new shelters they’ll pay for themselves over a 10-year period.
While the STM has already tested several different kinds of solar-powered bus shelters, spokesperson Isabelle Tremblay said the agency hasn’t chosen a specific bus shelter model to buy yet.
The transit agency is still waiting for the results of a bus-shelter design contest announced by Montreal Mayor Gérald Tremblay last September.
Tremblay called on the city’s designers to come up with new ideas for five things – the Champs de Mars métro station, the eastern wall of the courthouse, bus shelters, taxis and temporary festival furniture.
Design Montreal has not yet launched the contest, spokesperson Stéphanie Jecrois said yesterday.
The agency is still meeting with its partners to determine how the contest will work, but she said the contest details should be announced with a few weeks. The contest will be held in 2009, she said.
Meanwhile, at the STM, Tremblay said the agency will only go to tender for new bus shelters after the Design Montreal contest wraps up.
The STM now has 2,977 bus shelters, serving about one-third of its bus stops. It would like to install 100 new bus shelters over the next two years, and 100 more each year from 2011 to 2013.
© Copyright © The Montreal Gazette
ENcore une fois, tiré de la Gazette de ce matin!
More cars for busiest train line
DAVID JOHNSTON, The Gazette
The Montreal area's busiest commuter-rail line will get double-decker cars thanks to $120 million in new provincial money for suburban-train infrastructure.
The introduction of double-decker service on the Montreal/Deux Montagnes line tops the priority list for the new three-year capital-spending plan of the Metropolitan Transit Agency.
The plan is to be made public in the next two weeks.
It will boost the number of double-decker cars in the MTA's 200-car fleet well above the current 22 - which are used on commuter lines to Rigaud and Blainville-St. Jérôme. The combined ridership on these new lines is barely two-thirds of the 31,000 carried daily on the Deux Montagnes line.
By comparison, all 415 GO trains in the metropolitan Toronto commuter-rail network have double-decker cars.
Renewal of the train fleet will put double-decker trains where they are needed most - on the busiest lines, and during rush-hour periods, MTA official Mélanie Nadeau said yesterday.
Rush-hour trains on the Deux Montagnes line run well above 100-per-cent capacity now. Crowding is a sore point with users.
The line carries 31,000 people a day. It runs from Central Station through St. Laurent, the West Island and Laval and into the St. Eustache-Deux Montagnes area.
© The Gazette (Montreal) 2007