The truth about the tram

There’s a big difference between arguing and spreading false information. Beyond the concerns and questions that are perfectly normal with a project of this magnitude, misinformation about the streetcar is rampant in Quebec. In the interest of providing information, during a meeting with Daniel Genest, director of the project office, and Benoît Carrier, director of design and integration of the transport system, I took stock of the untruths circulating about various aspects of the project. who answered all my questions. Here is the first part of this report.


We often hear critics protesting that the passage after Le Gendre would not be full enough.

Several reasons explain this choice: to install the operations and maintenance center there; because this sector has great development potential; to clear the flow of traffic on Laurier Boulevard; and because it will be possible to collect commuters from MRC Portneuf thanks to park and ride facilities.

It has been determined that Le Gendre station will be the one that will receive the most climbs during the morning rush hour. “By this point, it will be the busiest station on the entire route,” explains Benoît Carrier.

The approach chosen for the service is to be inspired by European integration models, by far the most advanced in the field, by interconnecting the travel generators. This explains the decision to avoid the Marly sector, which is only used in morning and evening sequences.

“Between the two, Mr. Carrier points out, it’s a total desert. »


According to some claims, the tram would be far too noisy and for that reason would ruin the lives of people living near the track.

However, an acoustic study presented in 2019 showed that the tram (around 75 decibels) is on the contrary quieter than a conventional bus (up to 85 decibels).

The implementation of the tram, which can be found on the project’s website, will cause no noise pollution on 97% of its route.

“In some places, the sound environment is even improved,” we explain.

In fact, noise reduction measures are planned for the entire route, this also applies to the time of implementation.

We think in particular of the coating of the platform, the lubrication of the rolling stock and the acoustic maintenance of the platform.


According to some, it would be wiser to take Boulevard Charest.

However, this was excluded from the route in particular because the experts determined on the basis of various traffic studies that we should not only use a heavy-duty mode to develop one sector, explains Daniel Genest.

“There is no reserved lane on Charest, so it was necessary to remove lanes when traffic levels are much higher there compared to René-Lévesque,” ​​adds Benoît Carrier.

He also notes that the installation of a streetcar on Charest involved the removal of all trees from the north side backyards.

The studies also showed that installing a tramway at the confluence of the Charest and Saint-Sacrement motorway ends would cause even greater congestion than those already observed.

Finally, the possibility of crossing the cemetery to ascend to Nérée-Tremblay was deemed far too technically complex. Do not cross unsafe intersections.


Some predict that the tram will be an urban and ecological disaster. On the contrary, argues Mr. Genest, the tram is becoming a lever for the city’s development, a trend that can be observed almost everywhere in the world.

The fact that it is fixed, in contrast to buses, makes it an even better lever, a great basic principle in planning.

“We adopted a vision in spring 2019 in which we base ourselves on a design bike based on a balance between tram, urban integration and comfort,” answers Mr. Genest. We recognize that it takes skill to fit this type of heavy-duty transport capacity into a tightly-knit urban fabric. We used best practices that guided all of our work. »

With regard to the ecological properties of the tram, the current study by SYSTRA, one of the world’s leading engineering and consulting companies in this field, shows that after nine years of operation it will be climate-neutral and save 89,000 tons of CO2 until 2041.


According to persistent false information, the city is divided in two by the concrete slab of the tram, in particular because 148 intersections can no longer be turned left.

“It’s really an urban legend, because what we want is an exclusive platform that ensures that the tram runs reliably, regularly and frequently,” contradicts Daniel Genest.

In fact, the platform between crossings, i.e. where there is a sidewalk, will be raised to about the height of a mobile phone. It is embedded not in the asphalt but in a concrete platform so that it is solid and winterproof.

“But turning left would also be prohibited if the platform were at the same level as the carriageway, because it is not safe and would take priority over the tram,” says Benoît Carrier, who recognizes that this means a change in people’s habits.

The latter emphasizes that crossing at a junction is not the right way, whether by tram or not, and that “there will be more crossings at signalized junctions [et donc sécuritaires] by tram. »

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