ADOPTION OF BILL 44: AN OPPORTUNITY FOR TRANSPORTATION ELECTRIFICATION IN QUEBEC
Montreal, October 22, 2020 – This week, the government of Quebec adopted Bill 44, an Act primarily aimed at effective governance in the fight against climate change and promoting electrification. The Canadian Urban Transit Research & Innovation Consortium (CUTRIC) considers that this law establishes the necessary foundations for Quebec in terms of transit electrification in anticipation of the unveiling of the Green Economy Plan (GEP) by the Minister of the Environment and the Fight against Climate Change, Benoit Charrette.
The COVID-19 pandemic has shown that public transportation is an essential service for the people of Quebec. CUTRIC hopes that the foundations set up by Law No. 44 and the GEP will provide stakeholders in the public transit sector with the necessary resources to complete their electrification in an innovative way that benefits the Quebec economy.
The adoption of this bill is welcomed by CUTRIC. In addition, we also wish to propose recommendations for building a bold plan to rebuild public transit in Quebec, as part of a green recovery.
Our recommendations :
- Prepare the ground for electrification: invest in planning initiatives for the benefit of transit stakeholders
- The government of Quebec should commit to putting in place a provincial program allowing independent entities to conduct feasibility studies to ensure that transit agencies have the necessary funds and data to electrify their fleets.
- Leverage data in transportation: use data to build electric transport and optimize innovation
- If transit systems performance data are properly collected and analyzed, transit agencies can learn from other authorities by allowing logging systems to be installed on all vehicles. The Government of Quebec should establish an autonomous, connected, electric and shared data trust allowing transit agencies and operators to access and share real-time analysis, in order to optimize the fleet performance and reduce operating costs.
- Advocate a safe return to transit: invest in research to identify solutions to bring back ridership safely
- A low-emission transit system will only be used if riders feel safe. Research is needed to understand which problems and solutions will allow a safe return to transit. The government of Quebec should fund “Back to transit” research initiatives which connect universities, transit agencies and manufacturers in order to meet the immediate challenges associated to the pandemic.
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