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Bulletin N°96 - novembre 2012

Editorial version anglaise

Transportation: society’s choices for the future

Photo président OIQ Danile Lebel, ing.In recent years, the OIQ has on several occasions expressed its opinions on the critical condition of our infrastructures, while the public commented on the increase in orange cones on our roads. The next issue of PLAN will offer some interesting food for thought about modes of transportation in our society. We will have to make some major decisions about this aspect of our future as a society, since it looks like the road network in Québec’s largest city will inevitably become overburdened if the current trend continues.


The socioeconomic and environmental costs of transporting goods and people in our society are extremely high. In fact, transportation is responsible for over one third of the greenhouse gas emissions in Québec, while traffic jams in Greater Montreal cost an estimated $1.4 billion in 2003! In addition to that, there are of course the costs involved in the repair, deterioration and unavailability of the roads due to overuse.

With rising costs and recurring congestion problems, improving the traffic flow has become an unavoidable objective. Yet, it is one that modern information systems can help us achieve thanks to the various possibilities they offer for optimizing transportation. At a time when goods are transported mainly by truck in North America and people rely on their cars for transportation, new technologies allow us to focus on intermodality, thanks to better integration of the various modes of transportation available to us.

To achieve this, it is important to think about the modes of transportation that we want to use in the future and determine the best solutions that will meet the needs of the people and an economy that is still largely rooted in the manufacturing sector. While we invest billions of dollars in rebuilding and repairing critical infrastructures, we need to accompany these efforts with an examination of our transportation mode needs. 

Infrastructure managers, businesses and public transportation agencies need to agree to sit at the same table and consider all the costs and options available to them. A global vision that is focused on sustainable development and deals with the organization of transportation and the socioeconomic development of Québec has become absolutely essential.

In closing this editorial on a topic that will undoubtedly be on our minds in the future, I would like to wish you and your families Happy Holidays on behalf of the members of the Board of Directors and myself.

Daniel Lebel, ing.


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