Updated: October 30, 2012
None of these are of my own design; judge for yourselves:
I found this one a while back, seems like an interesting idea. It incorporates three rapid-bus systems plus a Parc Avenue light rail system, with a considerably larger MÃ©tro system in general, though with considerable focus on the higher-density regions closer to the downtown core.
The following proposal for system improvement doesn’t involve any non-MÃ©tro systems, but has considerably more lines and stations. Also notice how all three airports are connected, and how the downtown would be connected by four parallel East-West lines and seems to indicate a type of network-sharing system where multiple lines would use the same track. Further, consider the number of junction stations:
I also like this proposal because it very clearly allows access to all four corners of the Metropolitan region. Keep it in mind – this system is nothing more than a dream, though its always encouraging to see random people envisioning their ideal MÃ©tro system. If only our elected officials would get the picture and pursue a more ambitious expansion program. Imagine what could be if we were building at a rate of 26 stations every 4 years. We did it without blinking between 1962 and 1966.
October 27th update:
Looking at this plan I can’t help but remark on the similarities in the three designs, as it seems to have borrowed from each in addition to the current MTQ plan and elements of very early designs. Among other things, closing the Orange Line loop, extending further into Laval and Longueuil, following bridges and highways, extending the Blue Line East to Anjou, connecting Ile des Soeurs and additional East-West lines to cover the downtown and a Pie-IX line are all featured in these three designs. The first plan is highly reserved and realistic whereas the second is bold (though less accurate than the others), and the third seems constrained by the dimensions of a MÃ©tro map poster. That said – check out that Brown Line – it goes everywhere! What a great idea, a ‘sight-seer’ MÃ©tro line running from Brossard through the CBD and onto the airport.
I also like the idea, oft repeated, of having additional multi-line hubs East of Berri-UQAM, such as at the Olympic Stadium, and of course the second plan’s design to link all the airports with the urban core. What’s striking is that it doesn’t seem to me like any official plan would even consider the possibility of building entirely new lines and hubs; these plans are realistic given that by 2012-2013, the metropolitan population is going to reach 4 million, and the citizens will no longer be able to rely on their cars to get around the metropolitan region. Public transit will require a massive investment in order for large cities to remain operationally competitive, we just cannot afford the same carbon footprint in the future. Thus, it makes sense to begin a massive development project and wildly expand the MÃ©tro, as soon as possible. Any of these designs are feasible as long as we demand it, but we must demonstrate clearly and effectively that we will not stand for anything less than the world’s finest MÃ©tro system. It is our responsibility, it is our heritage and a credit to our high-tech industries, but it must be kept at a perpetual ‘state-of-the-art’ status if we’re to make any money off it. The citizens need better than what is currently provided and MÃ©tro development needs to become a principle priority for the Mayor. If we were as motivated to build a MÃ©tro system today as we were fifty years ago, we could attain total metropolitan coverage within forty years, maybe sooner. That kind of long term steady investment is exactly what we need to keep our economy stable and create real, insurable employment. Public works and infrastructure projects worked in the States with the New Deal, so there’s no reason why we can’t do the same basic thing today on a localized scale. Building a massive new MÃ©tro could be money in the bank.
MÃ©tro Extension proposal by Matthew MacLauchlin
A very interesting proposal. What I like most: far better commuter rail development is integrated into the project, with multiple AMT-SMT inter-modal stations, vital for traffic dispersion. Given Matthew’s vast and extensive knowledge of the MÃ©tro, his bears many of the planned extensions, something else I like – many of the abandoned extension plans were rather well conceived. The MÃ©tro and commuter rail network would permit connections to Trudeau and Mirabel, and Matt’s plan further incorporates many closed loops (though, surprisingly, not through Laval, a likely extension to close the Orange Line). I also like how the different lines would have branches in this plan – very unique, it’s as if the colour of the lines define certain geographic areas, corridors of sorts. The magenta line running under Boul. RenÃ©-LÃ©vesque is an interesting touch, as is the aquamarine line along the northern ridge of the city, something that would be beneficial given the high population density in that sector. It seems as though his plan would opt to either follow existing rail lines, incorporate the Mount Royal Tunnel into the MÃ©tro scheme, and further would seek to re-establish rail use at Viger or Dalhousie Station.
MÃ©tro expansion proposed by Fouineux
Another fascinating proposal – I’m so impressed with what people can come up with, seriously. This plan does not involve former expansion plans – as you can see, no extension into Longueuil or Laval or Anjou. Instead, multiple ‘scooping’ lines that funnel people onto the Orange and Green lines at multiple stations. I like how this plan features many more multi-line stations, including the proposed super station at McGill with four connections. The extension into the CitÃ© du Multimedia and Griffintown is solid because the area is still oddly detached from the rest of the city. Further, I like how this magenta section would bring a second MÃ©tro station to Parc Jean-Drapeau (though I’d much prefer the station to be called Place des Nations rather than Casino) which may finally make the at times desolate park more integrated into the urban fabric.
A question came to mind while thinking about these expansion plans. How quickly could be build any of these expansions? If we wanted it done quickly, would we mandate that the entire expansion operation be conducted at three-shifts per day? How many thousands, if not tens of thousands of people are we willing to hire and for how long? Between 1962 and 1966 we built 26 stations. How much of any of these plans could be accomplished at a similar rate?
How high will gas prices have to rise before these plans are seriously considered? With systems like these (or any amalgam of these systems, in conjunction with commuter trains and buses etc.) we really wouldn’t have much use for cars in the city anymore. It just wont be practical. Further, with MÃ©tro expansion comes RÃ©so expansion, and in turn the area defined as being ‘city’ or ‘urban’ increases. With more area coming under the envelope of the city’s high-intensity public transit network, land prices within that area increase as an extension of the added convenience of this heightened level of accessibility. I’m convinced that a better MÃ©tro system could be a valuable marketing tool when encouraging people to move back to the city.