Quebec planning more carpool lanes north and south of Montreal

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By Rob Lurie, CTV Montreal

MONTREAL -- Drivers living north and south of Montreal may want to consider carpooling, if they aren't doing it already. The Legault government announced Wednesday it is planning more carpool lanes in the region.

"We’re not taking away any lanes on these highways. We want to add other lanes to give other solutions and reduce the time car drivers are in their car," said Transport Minister Francois Bonnardel at a news conference in Longueuil, on the South Shore of Montreal.

Bonnardel has launched a call for tenders for feasibility studies into building dedicated lanes on Highways 13, 20, 25, as well as the 440, 640 and the 116. There are also plans for Highways 15, 19, 30 and the 132.

"This is an important step in our ambitious plan to ease traffic in the metropolitan region," said junior transport minister Chantal Rouleau.

Laval Mayor Marc Demers called it an important announcement, saying a 2018 study found traffic impacts on the north shore cost citizens $1.5 billion, and more than 150 million hours are lost to commuters stuck in traffic. 

Bonnardel said it’s too early to say how much this will all cost, but that the goal was to reduce cars with only one person inside and reduce greenhouse gas emissions.

"For me, there’s no question of stealing (existing) lanes. We want to add dedicated lanes," he said. "If a driver sees a bus or someone carpooling in a lane going 100 km/h, and he’s in traffic going 60, I think he's going to realize he’s losing his time and say I’m better off going to work with a colleague or taking the bus."

Bonnardel said he wants people to lose as little time as possible in their cars, but added with 4.8 million cars registered in Quebec, we need to look at ways to reduce that number.

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