exo | Public consultation: Laurentides-Terrebonne-Ouest bus
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Exo is reconfiguring bus services in the municipalities served in the Laurentides – Terrebonne-Ouest sector.
Why merge Terrebonne-Ouest with the Laurentides sector?
The consulted territory was divided up taking the following factors into account:
Why did you prioritize the Laurentides–Terrebonne-Ouest sector before the others?
The bus network reconfiguration in Laurentides–Terrebonne-Ouest was prioritized to coincide with the opening of the Réseau express métropolitain (REM) in the sector.
In fall 2024, the REM’s Deux-Montagnes branch will link Deux-Montagnes to downtown Montréal. At that point, our buses will provide service to this major public transit project.
The reconfiguration also takes into account other large-scale initiatives that will impact mobility, such as the construction of reserved lanes on Autoroute 15 and Autoroute 19.
We included Terrebonne-Ouest in the current reconfiguration plan due to the construction of a new terminal and park-and-ride lot at the junction of Autoroute 19 and Autoroute 640.
What are the next steps and objectives of the consultations?
The first phase of consultations took place in fall 2021. Our objective was to inform citizens about the reconfiguration project, enable them to discuss the subject with exo experts, and better understand their needs.
An online information session was held on September 15. You can view it here (in French).
The online public consultation, which took place from September 13 to October 11, 2021, enabled citizens to express their needs and share their suggestions for public transit in their sector.
Analysis of the information and data gathered will allow our experts to form the basis of our proposed service scenarios. All of the information we collected will be compiled in a consultation report produced by our partner, the Institut du Nouveau Monde (INM), which is assisting us in the process.
Phase 2 of the consultations will take place in 2022 to validate the proposed network and define the areas of improvement.
What role is the Institut du Nouveau Monde (INM) playing in the consultations?
For both phases of the consultations, exo is partnering with the INM, a non-partisan and independent organization whose mission is to encourage citizen involvement in democratic life. It’s role is to:
Moderate the consultations
Analyze the data gathered and write consultation reports
Ensure the integrity of the process
Impacts of the bus network reconfiguration
Will there be schedule changes, and if so, when will they take effect?
Yes, the schedules will be adjusted when the new network opens in fall 2024, to coincide with the opening of the REM in Deux-Montagnes. These schedules will be announced before the lines open to allow users to plan their new routes.
Will these changes lead to higher rates?
Changes to rates are part of a different project: the fare reform.
This project is the responsibility of the Autorité Régionale de Transport Métropolitain (ARTM), which is redesigning the rate structure for all of Greater Montréal in an effort to simplify it.
Learn more about the fare reform
Will it be easier to travel between municipalities on public transit in the region, and will there be an east-west link on Autoroute 640?
The focus of the network reconfiguration is to adapt to travel behaviours, and inter-municipal service may certainly be improved where demand justifies it.
We are aware that cross-suburb travel is growing and that the east-west axis of Autoroute 640 is an important corridor that requires public transit planning.
Do you plan to improve off-peak and weekend service?
Improving off-peak and weekend service is part of what we are considering in this reconfiguration process.
Bus frequency will also be reviewed for a number of lines.
Requirements are evaluated and service scenarios proposed based on customer needs, as well as our financial capacity given our allotted funds.
Will Montmorency métro station continue to be served?
Yes, exo buses will continue to serve Montmorency métro station. The reconfiguration will provide an opportunity to analyze and adjust service to this station.
Will you take advantage of this opportunity to better align your services with those of the Société de Transport de Laval (STL) (in French)?
Yes. We are working in collaboration with STL teams to provide better links between the two agencies’ networks.
Will Saint-Jérôme train line service be maintained?
Yes, exo2 Saint-Jérôme commuter train service will be maintained and buses will continue to serve the stations in the territory.
The network reconfiguration is an opportunity to improve bus service to stations.
Will there be reserved lanes to make travel faster?
The Ministère des Transports du Québec (MTQ) is currently working to implement reserved lanes on Autoroute 15 (in French) and Autoroute 19 (in French).
Exo would like to see more of this type of infrastructure deployed in order to provide speedier service to customers.
Setting up reserved lanes involves several partners, including municipalities and the MTQ, depending on the location. Exo believes that reserved lanes contribute to making public transit more efficient and appealing, and we are actively collaborating with our metropolitan partners to prioritize these initiatives.
Will you turn taxibus lines into regular lines, and vice versa?
It’s too soon to say. Certain services may be modified, based on demand.
Will you take advantage of this opportunity to improve your park-and-ride facilities and your terminals?
We are constantly improving these facilities based on customer needs and available financing, and will continue to do so.
In addition, we’ll be reconfiguring certain bus terminals to better serve the new bus network.
Will the park-and-ride facilities be maintained at Deux-Montagnes and Grand-Moulin stations?
Both stations are now owned by CDPQ Infra, which will operate the REM and its facilities, including park-and-ride lots.
To learn more about the REM stations, visit the dedicated section on the REM website.
Will exo buses continue to serve these REM stations (Grand-Moulin and Deux-Montagnes)?
Yes, one of the main objectives of the bus network reconfiguration is to align services with other public transit networks such as the REM, métro and commuter trains.
Will cegeps and hospitals be better served?
All locations that generate high travel volumes will be taken into account in the new proposed network.
Will industrial areas like the Aerocity of Mirabel be better served?
The consultations will allow us to determine the transportation needs of certain sectors that are not currently served, and we will adjust our service in order to better meet these needs.
Municipalities like Saint-Placide and Prévost are not served by exo. Will they be included in the reconfiguration?
As these municipalities are not currently served by exo, they will not be included in the Laurentides–Terrebonne-Ouest sector reconfiguration.
Good to know: The exo territory is made up of 82 municipalities in the Montréal Metropolitan Area, Kahnawake and the city of Saint-Jérôme. Municipalities such as Saint-Placide and Prévost, which are located outside of the territory, must enter into agreements with the Autorité Régionale de Transport Métropolitain (ARTM), which is responsible for public transit planning in the metropolitan area.
Information session on September 15, 2021
The following are answers to questions asked during the information session on September 15, 2021. View the session recording here (in French).
Are you considering implementing on-demand transportation services during off-peak hours?
Reconfiguring the exo bus network provides us with an opportunity to review our services and make them even more efficient.
In addition to optimizing our schedules, frequency and routes, we are also looking at introducing new and better mobility solutions, including on-demand transportation.
In May 2021, exo launched a pilot project called exo on demand in the Belœil-McMasterville area. Based on results, exo on demand could be extended to other areas, and included in the network reconfiguration project.
Would it be possible to create an east-west bus line between Deux-Montagnes and Repentigny, going through Sainte-Thérèse and Terrebonne, for faster commutes from one end of the North Shore to the other?
This type of bus route is totally consistent with the objectives of our network reconfiguration initiative, including improving local and cross-suburb commutes. We can’t confirm this route right now, but we will certainly be analyzing it.
Do you have a contingency plan to meet immediate needs by 2024?
Yes. It’s important to note that the network reconfiguration process is not an impediment to implementing new mobility projects in the Laurentides–Terrebonne-Ouest sector. In fact, certain projects are already underway or in development.
Is the reconfiguration aimed at providing better North Shore access to users from Montréal, Laval and the South Shore?
The bus network reconfiguration is aimed at providing users with better interconnectivity within the exo network and with other Greater Montréal mass transit networks. As such, we are assessing all commutes to, from and within the Laurentides–Terrebonne-Ouest sector in order to improve service.
Given the population growth in Saint-Jérôme, when do you plan on adding new routes there?
The assessments planned as part of the network reconfiguration project will allow us to determine mobility needs for the city of Saint-Jérôme.
The launch of the new bus service will coincide with the launch of the Deux-Montagnes branch of the Réseau express métropolitain (REM), scheduled for the fall of 2024.
Will industrial areas be better served?
We’ll be looking at the possibility of introducing services in certain targeted industrial zones.
Our consultations with the sector’s economic stakeholders have confirmed their difficulty to attract workers due to the lack of service to industrial areas.
Will the Oka Express be included in the exo network by the end of the reconfiguration process?
The Oka Express bus line has a special status, since it offers service outside the exo territory.
As a result, this line is subject to a special agreement with the ARTM, much like other agreements with municipalities outside exo territory. Discussions on this matter are currently underway with the ARTM.
Would it be possible to better align the networks in the Terrebonne-Mascouche and Laurentides sectors?
Yes, this is one of the objectives of the network reconfiguration project (i.e. improving local service in the suburbs).
There are many links between Terrebonne and the Laurentides sector, which is why we have integrated a portion of the Terrebonne-Mascouche sector (Terrebonne-Ouest) in the Laurentides sector reconfiguration.
As for the rest of the Terrebonne territory, it will also be reviewed as part of the reconfigurations for the Terrebonne-Mascouche–L’Assomption sectors, scheduled for 2023.
If you have any questions about the service exo currently provides in the Laurentides and Terrebonne-Ouest sectors, please contact our customer service team.
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