May 21, 2019 2:03 pm
Updated: May 21, 2019 6:07 pm

Quebec transport minister rides Metro’s orange line with Montreal mayor

WATCH: Montreal's mayor and Quebec's transport minister teamed up to take a ride on the Metro Tuesday morning. As Dan Spector reports, Valérie Plante wanted to show François Bonnardel just how packed the orange line gets, in the hopes he will see the need to build a new pink metro line.

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Mayor Valérie Plante and Quebec Transport Minister François Bonnardel took a ride on the Montreal Metro together Tuesday morning.

Plante said she wanted to show Bonnardel just how packed the orange line gets during rush hour — in hopes of convincing the provincial government to support the idea of a new pink line.

WATCH: Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante and Quebec Transport Minister François Bonnardel took a ride on the Montreal Metro together. Global’s Dan Spector reports.

READ MORE: Montreal Metro’s blue line extension costs rise by $600M: STM

She said she wasn’t sure the message was getting across, and so invited Bonnardel back in February for a rush hour ride on the orange line.

“It was a little packed this morning,” he said, after riding the Metro from the Laurier to Champ-de-Mars stations.

“It’s not like I was thinking, but there are no students in the subway this morning.”

She campaigned on the promise of building a new north-south Metro line to relieve pressure on the orange line.

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Since being elected, Plante has pushed the idea of building a pink line.

READ MORE: This Montreal man danced in front of (almost) every Metro station

“I take the subway a lot, and I knew it would be less busy this morning,” said Plante.

“It’s after a long weekend, it’s nice outside, people are taking bikes and Bixis, which is great. There are less students, university and college is over.”

Some commuters agree that Montreal is in need of a pink line.

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“It’s a little frustrating,” said commuter Nadisha Hosein.

“We’re all like sardines inside of there. He should be taking the Metro in September, October when school starts back. Then he’ll realize that we need it.”

Commuter Andrew Belding takes the metro to work each day.

READ MORE: Montreal Metro blue line to be extended by five stations

“There are times where I’ve had to wait for two or more trains before I can board the train,” he said.

“It’s pretty packed, especially in the mornings.”

WATCH BELOW: Montreal Metro increases accessibility for disabled people

When the Coaltion Avenir Québec (CAQ) insisted a new Metro line was not a priority, Plante accused Bonnardel of being out of touch.

READ MORE: Montreal’s old metro cars to be part of two new exhibits

After his Tuesday morning Metro ride, Bonnardel said he still wasn’t convinced.

“I know the situation in Montreal. I lived in Montreal the first 20 years of my life,” he said, preferring to talk about other transport projects in the works.

“It’s a situation we consider seriously and we have a lot of projects for Montreal. The SRB Pie-IX, the blue line for future, so we’ll see what we prioritize for the future for Montreal.”

Bonnardel talked about the new Société de transport de Montreal (STM) garage set to be built at the Cote-Vertu station, but downplayed concerns that a possible extension of the new light rail  train network north and south of Montreal may make things even more difficult for orange line travelers.

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The mayor also pointed to additional buses being added to reduce pressure on the orange line.

READ MORE: STM creating new express bus line, adding trains to Metro’s orange line to alleviate congestion

“Ultimately, whatever the colour or the transport method, what I’m looking for is options. I need to hear that the government is conscious that it is difficult on the orange line,” said Plante.

The Autorité régionale de transport métropolitain (ARTM) said it is still studying the potential pink line. On his end, Bonnardel said he will be paying attention to the results.

WATCH BELOW: Metro stations to get overhaul in bid to increase accessibility

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