May 28, 2018 1:13 pm

Water taxi starts between Pointe-aux-Trembles and Montreal’s Old Port

WATCH ABOVE: A pilot project has started for a water taxi service between Pointe-aux-Trembles and Montreal’s Old Port. Global's Phil Carpenter reports.


A four-day trial run started Monday morning for a water taxi service between Pointe-aux-Trembles and Montreal’s Old Port.

It was initiated by the Rivière-des-prairies-Pointe-aux-Trembles borough to address a need for collective transportation in the area.

READ MORE: Cooling off on a hot summer day in the Saint Lawrence River

Borough officials want to see how such a service would work, especially during rush hour.

“We want to see if it’s comfortable, if the time is OK,” explains borough Mayor Chantal Rouleau.

“Is the time between the east and downtown OK. It’s about 25 minutes instead of an hour by car or by bus.”

Montrealers take a ride on a water taxi travelling between Pointe-aux-Trembles and Montreal’s Old Port.

Phil Carpenter/Global News

The service is being provided by Navark, which has other shuttle services in the region. One 50-seater boat leaves every hour from Pointe-aux-Trembles for the Old Port, with departures from seven am until six p.m.  Tickets one way are $3.25.

“We are looking to have the same price as the bus in Montreal,” explains boat Capt. Normand Noel.

The borough says people do want the service.

“When we started to talk about that idea years ago, many people, very regularly, told me that they were very interested by that project,” Rouleau told Global News.

WATCH BELOW: Water taxis for Montreal?

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The first pilot project was held in May last year for two days on a weekend to test how popular it would be.  One thousand people bought tickets.

This year, officials want to test week-day interest.

The results of the trial will determine how they will move forward to make it a permanent service.

“With all the information we will have from that trial we will be able to talk with government, of course, with the city of Montreal and other potential partners,” Rouleau said.

They don’t know yet whether next year the service will be permanent, or another trial run.

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“We hope that that demonstration this morning will open some doors so we may discuss and plan for the future,” says Noel.

Some passengers like Stephane Lafortune think the service is a good idea and that they’d take it regularly.

READ MORE: Are Montreal water taxis a possibility?

“Usually I take my bike to go to work, but I really wanted to try it this morning because just using my bike take like 50 minutes, and it’s about the same time for the bus,” he says.

The only thing he didn’t like was the hourly departures, but Noel says for next year they’re looking at half-hour departures, with bigger boats.

© 2018 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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