Archive for the ‘parking’ Category

Analysis of the PTI 2008-2010 from the AMT

The AMT published their Programme Triennal d’Immobilisations for 2008- 2010 back in November.  Here are my thoughts:

SLR Over the Champlain Bridge

After unveiling the preliminary study back in March, this project seems to have completely disappeared.  No mention of it is to be found!

Parking Around Suburban Train Stations

Counting the suburban train and bus parking lots together, there are 15 projects to add a total of 2250 new parking spaces for a projected cost of 11.8M$.  The costs range between 3k$ for the south shore to 20k$ for the proposed enlargement of the parking lot at the Namur metro station.

If we assume that these new spots are occupied by a car of a new user of public transport, it represents an acquisition cost of $ 5200 per new user (equivalent to 32 months of a TRAM6).   However, it would be a complete waste of money if the space were to be occupied by an already existing user who now decided to drive to and park at the parking lot instead of taking the bus or being dropped off.

I think this money could be put to better use elsewhere!

SLR on Av. du Parc

Even after the city clearly indicated that they want three lines developed at the same time: Parc, Griffintown, and Côte-des-Neiges, AMT is still only looking at the Parc line.

What about the other 2?

Bi-Mode Locomotives

The PTI has several projects to purchase 20 new bi-mode locomotives that will be able to travel in the tunnel of Mont Royal.  The projects are

  • B.4 – replace old diesel locomotives (12 new locomotives),
  • B.6 – Increase service on deux montagnes line (3 locomotives),
  • B.46 – Train de l’est (5 locomotives – new service)

The end result of this and the proposal to link the St-Jerome and train de l’Est lines to the line running into the Mont Royal tunnel is that the remaining 11 diesel locomotives will all travel along the Montreal-West Corridor to Lucien-d’Allier.  Since there is also a proposal (B.53) to electrify some of their high traffic segments of the network, it seems to me that this corridor would be worthwhile.  If there are still diesel trains remaining in the fleet that can only go to Lucien d’Allier, it seems to me that this corridor won’t get the upgrade.

Although the service improvements are great, can’t the AMT get an extra 10 locomotives to have a harmonized fleet and then electrify the network as needed.  The relatively recent F-59 locomotives will still fetch a reasonable price with other operators in North America.


Important Book that you MUST Read

The High Cost of Free Parking, by Donald Shoup

The book is available in Montreal here:
Concordia McGill U de Montréal or if you want, here: Amazon

This book has lots of information that can be very practical for any city anywhere!

  • 90% of traffic in commercial districts is actually cars circling around looking for a place to park!
  • 90% of trips do not pay for parking when they get to their destination.
  • City bylaws and engineering planning regulations put cars into an endless positive feedback loop. 
    • Large parking lots -> encourage people to drive -> wider roads -> more driving -> businesses become spaced out -> even more driving.
    • Where are the pedestrians in all this?

There are some very good ideas that montreal could implement:

  • Parking benefit districts where the parking meter revenue is used to beautify the commercial districts.  Right now, parking meter revenue is used as general revenue for the central city administration.
  • Parking rates should be raised to the level that allows 1 free spot on each block at all times of the day.
    • This means that the rates are variable to account for the variation in the demand
    • Poeple will be sure to have a spot when they arrive at their destination – instead of endlessly circling the block
    • This policy has been implemented in a city in California with great results.

 This is a must read book!