Wednesday, June 4, 2008

Senseless Pay Per Drive

The city of Montreal certainly needs money to finance its public transit system. However, establishing toll bridges and turn pikes penalizing people who enter Montreal is a senseless idea.

For some people, this might look like a good idea. With people living in the suburbs of the North and South Shore, that certainly makes a lot of people coming on the island to work, study or have fun. Moreover, creating toll bridges and turn pikes looks, for some silly Montrealers, like a good way to diminish the number of cars circulating on the Island and to finance our public transit system. After all, our city councillors were not shitting us by saying that cars embody a great source of pollution! Hence, this question naturally comes: why should suburban drivers single-handedly finance our public transportation system? Needless to remind you that the bulk of the Société des Transports de Montréal (STM) is on the Island of Montreal.

Obviously, some Montrealers' dream to make suburban drivers pay one buck to enter the Island stands on nothing but questionable assumptions.

This idea foolishly holds suburban drivers responsible for the high number of cars circulating on the Island. The city's plan might act as an incentive for suburbans to use public transit more often. However, Montreal's mayor, Gérald Tremblay, doesn't seem to understand that public transit in suburbs works at - not minutes - every hour on the dot, which makes it an unconvincing alternative.

Thus, even if actions were taken against suburban drivers, Tremblay's plan would give a free ride to Montrealer drivers (no puns intended). Therefore, while the number of cars coming from suburbs might potentially decrease, Montreal will still have to deal with road congestions (especially in highly populated districts, inside highways and the downtown) and pollution created by Montrealer drivers themselves. In the end, it's ludicrous to penalize suburbans by assuming that virtually most Montrealers use public transportation!

In spite of what was said, our city councillors ought to come up with a plan that indiscriminately penalizes both suburban and Montrealer drivers. To that matter, La Presse's columnist Alain Dubuc has once proposed that there should be toll roads at the entrance of Montreal's most popular spots for drivers, especially the downtown. Besides, another idea may consist in asking Quebec's government to grant to Montreal the right to raise the taxes on public parking lots given that Premier Jean Charest is an extremely Montreal-centred person.

Instead of targeting Montrealer and suburban drivers, I'm afraid to tell you that our city councillors make us, Montrealers, look like idiots who pretend to be the centre of the world. Asking suburban drivers to finance our public transit system (and also our roads) can be compared to a kid who wants to live in an apartment for a while by having his/her rents paid by someone else (that reminds me of my sister).

I know that most of you, dear readers who got the patience to read this far, still don't have a car, but what's your opinion?


What's currently being played in my laptop's DVD player? It's the complete first season of Dexter. The titular character is a blood spatter analyst by day for the Miami police department. However, by night, he's a serial killer killing criminals who are at large... Here's the trailer:

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