Montreal, Quebec – A system of regional road tolls with revenues earmarked for public transit has been suggested by André Lavallée, Montréal Executive Committee member responsible for Urban Planning and Public Transit, in a speech to members of the Association québécoise du transport et des routes (AQTR). The revenue from the tolls would be shared among the municipalities to finance their own contributions to the development, and to operate local and regional public transit and active transportation projects.
“We are firmly convinced that Montreal’s future will involve new high-performance and efficient public transit infrastructure that will require substantial investment,” Lavallée said. “What we are proposing today is another strategy, one of applying socially responsible user fees. Such fees will be designed to promote behaviour contributing to collective goals, such as those pertaining to air quality, quality of life and social equity.”
The tolls would be handled electronically, without requiring vehicles to stop or slow down. No tolls would be collected during evenings or weekends, and different rates would apply to different vehicle types. Emergency vehicles, buses and taxis would be exempt from payment. Lavallée has suggested that a fund be created to implement the Transportation Plan, which would raise taxpayer awareness of how payments are spent and would ensure that money received would be used for carrying out projects under the plan.
The city administration will set up the mechanisms necessary for discussing the matter, and a special commission of elected officials, experts and representatives from the public will be present at public forums to be held this fall.