Press Release CITÉ plan

CDPQ Infra presents an ambitious master plan for mobility in the greater Québec City area

CDPQ Infra Montréal,

CDPQ Infra presents its report, an ambitious master plan to improve mobility throughout the Communauté métropolitaine de Québec (CMQ): the Circuit intégré de transport express (CITÉ) plan. This ambitious plan aims to roll out, in three phases, a new network of nearly 100 km of corridors dedicated to public transit and proposes a new transit service offer that is efficient, fast and frequent.

The CITÉ plan is based on three main solutions aimed at revitalizing the metropolitan hubs of Québec City and Lévis, namely: 

  1. A new strategic tramway network, eventually comprising two lines totalling 35 km, running east-west and north-south in the CMQ: 
    1. A new 28-km tramway line stretching across Québec City, linking Le Gendre (Chaudière area), Sainte-Foy, Saint-Roch and Charlesbourg (phase 1), as well as D’Estimauville (phase 2) and Lebourgneuf (phase 3), providing frequent service to the heart of or near suburbs.
    2. A planned 7-km tramway line running through a tunnel under the St. Lawrence River (phase 3), in time and in accordance with demographic and densification conditions, to link downtown Lévis to downtown Québec City, i.e. from the Desjardins hub to the Saint-Roch hub.  
  2. Two bus rapid transit (BRT) networks totalling 30 km and connecting to the tramway:    
    1. A BRT line (phase 1) in Québec City along Boulevard Charest, with a connection to the tramway in Saint-Roch to the east and Boulevard René-Lévesque to the west.  
    2. An initial BRT line (phase 1) in Lévis, on Boulevard Guillaume-Couture, linking the Desjardins hub to the Sainte-Foy hub. Then, a second BRT line (phase 2) on Route des Rivières, linking the Chaudière hub to the Sainte-Foy hub.  
  3. Lastly, a series of new reserved lanes totalling over 30 km to improve the speed, reliability and attractiveness of express bus routes, as well as high-frequency bus service, to better serve the northern outskirts of Québec City, Lévis and its southern suburbs.  

The CITÉ plan proposes transit solutions that are tailored to each area, with improved bus routes to better serve the suburbs in the northern outskirts of Québec City and in Lévis, strategically located BRTs along east-west corridors in Québec City and Lévis, and a tramway network as the backbone.  

The tramway portion of the network has been designed to facilitate its seamless integration into communities, including shorter tram cars and smaller stations, hybrid electric power supply technology (overhead contact line and batteries) to reduce cabling in more sensitive areas, and an approach to installing station platforms that reduces the impact on the canopy.   

The CITÉ plan proposes new, interconnected transit solutions that will offer high service frequencies, with extended timetables, increased comfort and reliability, and significant time savings, reducing travel time by up to half in some areas.  

The plan has the potential to significantly increase ridership on the CMQ’s public transit system, adding at least 40,000 people a day. This represents a minimum increase in public transit ridership of 30%, generating a further reduction in GHG emissions for the CMQ.  

The CITÉ plan also represents an ambitious series of investments, to be implemented in three phases over the next 15 years and beyond. The plan consists of a strategic 28-km tramway project in Québec City, totalling $7 billion (in 2024 dollars). The cost of the 60 km of dedicated or upgraded BRT and bus lanes are estimated at approximately $4.5 billion. Together, these components of the plan total $11.5 billion. In time, and in accordance with demographic and densification conditions, the public transit tunnel between Québec City and Lévis will be added, at an estimated cost of approximately $4 billion. 

Following the example of major international cities such as Lille, Stockholm, Vienna and Strasbourg, with the CITÉ plan, we are proposing a phased approach to planning and structuring mobility development over time to ensure better execution and management of resources and costs. As the CITÉ plan is open-ended, it offers the flexibility needed to be rolled out while keeping pace with the CMQ’s economic and demographic development,” said Jean-Marc Arbaud, President and Chief Executive Officer of CDPQ Infra. 


Results of intercity road analyses 

In addition, rigorous analyses of the potential mobility gains generated by a new intercity road were carried out as part of this mandate. Six corridors spread over 25 km from east to west along the St. Lawrence River were evaluated using a criteria grid to assess their performance, attractiveness and potential for relieving congestion on existing bridges. Other factors analyzed included the complexity of connecting the road at various points to the existing road network, as well as the environmental, heritage and regulatory contexts of each corridor. 

The results of these analyses show that the traffic flow on any of the corridors studied would be relatively low, as would the reduction in the number of vehicles on existing bridges. The addition of an intercity road would move congestion points deeper into the Québec City road network, forcing a reconfiguration of these corridors. As a result, the marginal gains in mobility for the CMQ cannot, on their own, justify the construction of a new intercity road.  

Following meetings with stakeholders, CDPQ Infra noted that many expressed concerns about safety and the redundancy of existing bridges. A number of stakeholders also pointed out that in the eastern portion of the CMQ, from Gaspé to Trois-Rivières, which covers 800 km, the Pierre-Laporte Bridge is the only roadway capable of handling freight. Any reduction in capacity on the Pierre-Laporte Bridge would therefore have an impact on freight transport, business links between the regions and their economic vitality. These considerations go beyond CDPQ Infra’s mandate regarding mobility in the CMQ, and the government could examine the need for a road with regard to issues of economic security and freight transport.  


Summary of methodology  

CDPQ Infra analyzed nearly 1,000 documents and met with 172 stakeholders from a wide variety of backgrounds over an 18-week period. These inputs and discussions enabled us to complete the analysis of the CMQ’s mobility needs and identify the areas where solutions need to be developed. 

The mobility needs assessment identified 12 mobility corridors in the CMQ, which were subjected to a multi-criteria analysis to determine the most appropriate mode of transportation and service offer. These solutions and specific initiatives are included in the CITÉ plan. While respecting existing land-use planning and development regulations, the plan offers great potential for increasing public transit ridership and reducing GHG emissions in the CMQ. 

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