Not a merger Québec-Lévis

News 9 July, 2017
  • File Photo, Jean-François Desgagnés
    Collective transport services of Quebec and Levis will finally not be the subject of a merger.

    Stephanie Martin

    Sunday, 9 July, 2017 08:00

    Sunday, 9 July, 2017 08:00

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    After having considered the pooling of several services of their companies of transportation, the mayors of Quebec city and Lévis close now the door double-locked.

    The strained relationship between Québec and Lévis on the issue of transport seems to have had because of the good intentions expressed by Régis Labeaume and Gilles Lehouillier at the arrival of the latter at the town hall in Levis.

    In march 2014, the two mayors praised the end of the parochialism between the neighboring cities and supported in the chorus for a better coordination of the réseau de transport de la capitale (RTC) and the Société de transport de Lévis (STLévis). They had agreed to study the harmonization of services and fee schedules as well as for the creation of a one-stop shop for the purchase of securities and for the customer service.

    Photo Jean-François Desgagnés

    Intentions not met

    However, it remained at the stage of intentions, confirms the mayor of Lévis. “There has never been a question. There is no merger of the two companies expected in the short and medium term. There is nothing on the table. “

    Perhaps will there be a later harmonisation of rates, in the context of the scenarios to ensure the interconnection between the two sides, he suggests. An eventuality that is far from being ensured, because the mayor of Quebec city has said repeatedly the last time that he did more than his city in the wake of the failure of the common project of bus rapid.

    It was also reiterated in the Journal. “I believed a lot in mind regional. There, it is finished. I take care of my business, Quebec city, public transit in Quebec city. “

    Too expensive for Lévis

    Levis calculates that a merger of the transport companies would cost too much to its taxpayers.

    It costs roughly about $ 76 each Lévisien for the transit, while a resident of Quebec pays out close to $ 200 on his tax account, says Gilles Lehouillier. “We would end up with a higher cost. Also, the working conditions are not the same (to the PSTN and to the STLévis). And we, in addition, it has been a part of the network that is operated by the private sector. “

    In 2014, the Parti québécois had attempted to foster the harmonization of services between the two companies. In its national Strategy for sustainable mobility, the Transport minister of the time, Sylvain Gaudreau, had proposed a ” revision of the governance of the companies of transport of Quebec and Lévis “, which advocated, among other things, the establishment of a one-stop shop for information and ticketing.

    But the project fell with the defeat of the PQ in the hands of the liberals a few months later.

    The example of Montreal to inspire Quebec

    Some observers believe that a unique governance for the transport companies, to the image of what’s happening in Montreal, would be a good idea for the capital.

    In Quebec city, public transit may not, however, be considered in a silo, pleads Érick Rivard, architect and urban designer, member of the advisory committee on the sustainable mobility of the City of Quebec.

    “The capital and it is on both sides and I think it falls on the meaning of the world that transport and mobility, it is thought with a vision of capital and not each of its side. “

    Montreal might serve as an example. A point of view supported by Étienne Grandmont, executive director of the organization Access to sustainable Transport.

    Since the 1st of June, the governance of transit in the Montreal region is unified, the result of bill 76, which was adopted two years ago by the national Assembly. “It was a shambles with just about 14 carriers and an agency metropolitan in charge of the trains. All the world was planning its network separately, ” says Francois Pepin, the president of Trajectory, Quebec.

    Result : with the proliferation of tickets, it was very complex for users to navigate.

    To simplify things

    The new entity of governance in Montreal, the regional Authority of metropolitan transport (ARTM) is to simplify things and to ensure better regional planning. It is composed of members appointed 50 % by the metropolitan Community of Montreal and 50 % by the ministry of Transport.

    It collects all of the securities and distributes the money to the transport company of Montreal, Laval and the South Shore, as well as the authority that deals with the crown extended. These four organizations become mere operators at the service of the ARTM.

    “We put the resources in common, but the companies keep a certain autonomy, says Mr. Pepin. I think this could be good for Quebec also. “

    The mayor Régis Labeaume doesn’t want to hear about it. “I’m not there. I’m in charge of Quebec city and Lévis will take care of its business. “

    The office of the Transport minister, Laurent Lessard, the press officer Mathieu Gaudreault has indicated that the government does not intend to proceed in the same way in Quebec city. “We’re not there yet. “

    The situation in Québec-Lévis

    • Two transport companies, each with their governance
    • Separate titles, a laissez-passer métropolitain
    • Bus Lévis crossing to Quebec, and take the journey to the pole of employment along the east-west axis.
    • But are not allowed to take passengers.

    Situation in the region of Montreal

    • An entity of governance : the regional Authority of the metropolitan transport
    • Four companies operating : societies de transport de Laval (STL), Longueuil (RTL), de Montréal (STM) and the metropolitan transit system, which operates bus and commuter rail
    • Objective : go to 700 tickets to a single title