Airport Train A White Elephant?

That’s the question Henry Aubin is asking in his column this week. And it’s a good one considering that the “747” airport to downtown express bus has been a great success, more than doubling the anticipated ridership in just a couple of months. The whole concept of an express train from the airport to downtown has been flogged to death for decades and there still isn’t a consensus even if the City has recently stated a preference for the Central Station (CN) option instead of Lucien L’Allier (CP). Perhaps it’s time we threw in the towel on this one and just started focusing on improving rail transit to the West Island and beyond. Mr. Aubin points out that the new Turcot will (at least it should) include an express bus lane which will make the airport trip quick and painless, especially during rush hours. It’s always good to connect the dots in this way, something all transportation plans we have seen from all areas of government and private developers in recent years have spectacularly failed to do.
The airport bus just makes a lot of sense and saves millions and millions of dollars in just track that need not be laid. Heck, it s probably already showing a profit.

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2 responses to “Airport Train A White Elephant?

  1. Wouldn’t any increase in trackage be a plus at this point? Maybe the ADM route could be expanded to the West Island later. Hard to believe it could be a total wash.

    I tend to think the Gazette’s editorials on this are somewhat influenced by certain West Island development interests.

    No rail is better than a rail shuttle that doesn’t go to the MTQ/Cadillac fairview’s pet project?

  2. There is no doubt that “development interests” are behind tons of behind the scenes lobbying that the general public will never hear about, and I do get very suspicious when solutions appear to be simple and actually cost efficient (“no more than a man can have a baby” still haunts) but the bus actually seems to work! Given the corruption that seems to be a built in, as though it has a right of entitlement, on all our large scale projects, and the total lack of a consensus on the train, I am going to stick to my guns on this one and suggest we just go with the bus and focus on increasing transit and decreasing automobiles going in and out of the core. At least this way a train can remain an option for the future with no one saying, “Oh my God, what were we thinking?” in ten or so years.

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