1667506295 SRB Pie IX Fifteen stations from Monday promise a

SRB Pie IX | Fifteen stations from Monday promise a 30% faster service in the long term

The express bus service (SRB) is finally becoming a reality. As of Monday, 15 of the 17 stations in this corridor of 11 kilometers of reserved bus lanes will be operational. Once the project is fully completed, the Société de Transport de Montréal (STM) estimates that it will be able to offer a bus ride 30% faster than before.

Posted 11:30am Updated 1:23pm


Henri Ouellette-Vezina

Henri Ouellette-Vézina La Presse

“Our goal is to maximize the commercial speed of the buses, with the stations being further apart than normal. And the reserved lanes in the middle will be less affected by vehicles turning right on parallel streets,” said Senior Director of the SRB Pie IX project, Marc Dionne.

Ultimately, the latter estimates that users can save “around 30 percent of the time” compared to before, which will be faster than traveling by car. This equates to a gain of around 10 to 15 minutes compared to the 40 minutes that a journey from Henri-Bourassa metro station previously took. The buses will be diesel powered, but the goal is to go electric as soon as possible.

At the Autorité régionale de transport métropolitain (ARTM), spokesman Simon Charbonneau recalled that the SRB, which has been under construction since 2019 but was only announced in 2009, will be “connected north to the Mascouche liner train”. “We know that many users get off at Sauvé to connect to the orange line. Now there is a new option. That’s good news for relieving congestion on the Orange Line,” he said, urging users to consider which of the new “Metropol Fares” works best for them.

The All Modes AB single pass — for example, for someone coming to Montreal from Laval — costs $4.50, compared to $3.50 for someone living on the island. Several North Shore and South Shore commuters are also requesting that the ARTM make up this fare difference.

Still uncertain for Notre-Dame

So far, the extension of Rue Notre-Dame Est, which has been put on hold, is still being planned. Mr Dionne confirms that STM will be able to make announcements soon but that the organization is back to analyzing cost optimization in the face of an “unsatisfactory” tender. Originally set at around 300 million, the SRB Pie-IX budget has experienced several cost overruns in recent years. Including the addition of Notre-Dame, the bill for the project had risen to more than 650 million. Officially, the budget is currently 523 million, not including Notre-Dame.

On site, Hochelaga-Maisonneuve United MP Alexandre Leduc also spoke of a “significant shadow on the board” regarding the uncertainty surrounding the extension to Notre-Dame, which he believes is crucial. “We wonder if Hochelaga will be punished for defying the REM de l’Est. We want us to have reassurances that it’s not going to be the case, that it’s going to move quickly,” he exclaimed.

“Of course much more is needed. […] This is just the beginning,” Mayor Valérie Plante responded, but hailed the “very significant” potential and “hope” the project holds for East Montreal.

SRB Pie IX Fifteen stations from Monday promise a


Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante

When asked whether the SRB could be replicated elsewhere on the island, Transport Minister Geneviève Guilbault expressed reservations. “It depends on the goals, the layout and a lot of other things. Each case must be investigated. Not every corner necessarily has the same needs and the same way of meeting them,” she replied.

Further steps follow

Not everything will be ready on Monday. The new express bus service will operate on Boulevard Saint-Martin in Laval with a 750-space incentive car park to Avenue Pierre-De Coubertin in Montreal. On the other hand, the Jean Talon sector, where the construction of the pedestrian tunnel that will connect the future station of the blue line will continue, will not be operational immediately, as will that of the Pie IX bridge, whose repairs will be completed in autumn 2023 So the Jean-Talon and Bélanger stations will have to wait until then.

1667506287 295 SRB Pie IX Fifteen stations from Monday promise a


When asked whether the SRB could be replicated elsewhere on the island, Transport Minister Geneviève Guilbault expressed reservations. “It depends on the goals, the layout and a lot of other things. »

In addition, the construction of a pedestrian tunnel, still in progress, will result in the complete closure of the intersection of Boulevard Pie-IX and Rue Jean-Talon Est this autumn.

Finally, the SRB Pie-IX must serve the east of Laval by crossing four districts. Connections are planned with the green metro line at Pie-IX station, as well as with the Société de transport de Laval (STL) and the exo5 – Mascouche urban transport line.

However, the frequency of buses using the SRB depends on the ongoing construction sites, including those in the Jean Talon sector, but also on the works under the responsibility of the Ministère des Transports du Québec (MTQ) on Pie-IX and de la Concorde Bridges. The city has also invested 130 million in recent years to restore road infrastructure along the Pie-IX axis.

Until then, a “transitional offer” will apply. Line 439 Express Pie-IX will become the main line with a “greatly improved” frequency in the SRB corridor, and its shelters will be located in the middle of the tracks. The frequency of buses will also be increased for this route in three sectors: Lacordaire/Henri-Bourassa, Carrefour Henri-Bourassa/Pie-IX and Laval. It is estimated that buses will run regularly, once every four to ten minutes on weekdays during the day. The timetable of line 139 Pie-IX will be “adjusted downwards”, with curb stops. The frequency of the night line 355 Pie-IX remains “unchanged”.

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  • 500,000 STM President Eric Alan Caldwell noted that the SRB will serve a total of half a million people, including 160,000 for whom it will be the ‘hub’ of mobility. “We will have intelligent signage and be able to avoid nesting. The buses will no longer zap like they did with Pie-IX,” he said happily, and finally strives for “clocking in the SRB like in the subways”.