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Work to build new STM express lane 10 years late

Work on super reserved bus lane begins
Mon, Nov 5: Work is set to start this week on a new express bus lane that will run along Pie-IX Boulevard. As Global's Tim Sargeant explains, the line will span 11 kilometres between St-Martin Boulevard in Laval and Montreal's east end. But riders shouldn't get their hopes up just yet since construction is expected to last four years.

Finally, after more than a decade of discussions and promises, people working and living near Pie IX Boulevard are getting a Bus Rapid Transit system.

The express BRT system is a reserved lane for STM buses that is physically separated from the rest of traffic.

Construction began on Monday and is scheduled to last four years.

The route will run 11 kilometres with 17 stops from Boulevard Saint-Michel in Laval to Pierre-de-Coubertin near the Olympic Stadium.

The BRT is supposed to fill a void along the North-South corridor that lacks a fast, efficient public transit system.

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Ridership is expected to increase to 70,000 a day from the current 40,000.

“It’s already tough enough to be in traffic so you hope that taking that extra step would allow you to get from one place to another a lot faster. So, I could definitely see it being a benefit,” Robyn Lahiji told Global News outside the Pie IX metro station.

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The project was first discussed and promised in 2008 when Gérald Tremblay was mayor of Montreal with an original scheduled delivery date of 2012.

Now, it’s supposed to be fully operational by the fall of 2022.

“It takes time to do the homework properly. So we had to do pre-feasibility studies; feasibility studies; preliminary design; detailed design. This is one of the reasons,” Marc Dionne, the BRT project manager told Global News.

The project is slated to cost $394 million.

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