Works on the Louis-Hippolyte-La Fontaine bridge tunnel: little known, the health shuttle is almost empty

Works on the Louis-Hippolyte-La Fontaine bridge tunnel: little known, the health shuttle is almost empty

Unknown, the new shuttle, designed to boost public transport to health facilities in east Montreal during work on the Louis-Hippolyte-La Fontaine Bridge Tunnel, may not be for everyone.

“I pick up three or four people per trip,” says chauffeur Marie-Chantal Ringuette directly from the Radisson Metro.

Driver Marie-Chantal Ringuette believes the service would benefit from being better known.

Anouk Lebel/ JdeM

Driver Marie-Chantal Ringuette believes the service would benefit from being better known.

Since January 16, the new bus from the Société de transport de Montréal (STM) has served the Maisonneuve-Rosemont Hospital, the Montreal Heart Institute, the Marie Enfant Rehabilitation Center at the CHU Sainte-Justine and the Santa Cabrini Hospital, among others.

The Ministère des Transports du Québec wants to promote the public transport of patients and medical staff during the work on the Louis-Hippolyte-La Fontaine tunnel, which must last until November 2025.

Not suitable for everyone

The service operates Monday through Friday from 5:30 a.m. to 8:00 p.m., every 20 minutes during rush hour and every half hour during off-peak hours.

The driver is happy to say that there are more and more instructions at bus stops.

Anouk Lebel/ JdeM

The driver is happy to say that there are more and more instructions at bus stops.

” That’s a shame. It covers the daily schedule but ends at 8 p.m. It’s too early for those who work at night,” laments Marie-Noëlle Bourduas, nurse at the Maisonneuve-Rosemont hospital for five years.

Like many of her colleagues, the Longueuil resident continues to drive to work.

The service is also not suitable for people with disabilities. “That doesn’t satisfy us. It only goes to subway stations that are not barrier-free,” says Linda Gauthier, spokeswoman for the Regroupement des activities pour l’inclusion au Québec.

Not very well known

In the empty bus, the driver argues that it would be good for the service to become better known.

Nobody gets on before about fifteen stops at the entrance of the Maisonneuve-Rosemont hospital on Boulevard de l’Assomption.

The bus is empty for a good part of the journey.

Anouk Lebel/ JdeM

The bus is empty for a good part of the journey.

“I was waiting for the 131 bus, but I asked and it also goes to the subway,” explains Yasmine Antoine, a service assistant at the hospital.

The same goes for Dominique Uqaituk-Trudel, who came to see her medical records. “It’s faster,” she admits just before the subway.

In all, about fifteen people filled the bus for the last few miles to Assomption, Cadillac, and Radisson stations.

If the shuttle had arrived after bus 131, it would have been less than half, emphasizes the driver, who has been with STM for 22 years.

In the interim

In an email, STM points out that it is still too early to provide passenger data for the new shuttle.

“A new lineage can take months or even years to reach full maturity,” writes a spokeswoman, Justine Lord-Dufour, however.

She reminds that the measure introduced at the request of the Ministry of Transport is temporary.

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