Some years ago I was interviewing Westmount mayor Peter Trent on television.  Among other things, he told me that he didn’t own a car. I found this rather remarkable for such a busy man.  He explained that he often took public transit and, when necessary, he found it more economical to take taxis than to drive a car.

When I was hosting a talk-show at radio station CJAD I normally too the trusty #24 Sherbrooke street bus from my home in Westmount to our down-town studios.  In fact, I still take the 24 for retirement classes at McGill’.

A chauffered limousine picked me up daily and deposited me home after the program.  Of course it was more convenient and comfortable.  But not as interesting.  There is nothing quite so variegated and colourful as the inside of a Montreal bus.

At the moment Montreal is clogged every which way by road repairs.  As school starts and the fall begins these city streets will be even more clogged.  So city officials are offering incentives to leave cars at home and take public transit. New reserved bus lanes and express lane buses, free transit passes for a month for those who commit to a year’s worth are all in the works.

Did you know that if only five per cent of the p opulation used public transit, even some of the time, it would get 400,000 cars off the roads of Montreal every day.

As the Gazette says:  “That’s an astounding figure and one worth aiming for.”

Do you ever take public transit?

Do you own a car?

Do you ever leave your car at home and take the metro or a bus or both?

Let us know.


  1. 1

    I do not own a car, and I allowed my driver’s license to lapse. I only take transit, or once in a great while, if I’m in a tearing hurry, a cab. It’s limiting in some ways, but it also has its advantages, albeit hidden ones at the time — I get regular exercise, and I know a lot more about what goes on in my neighborhood and elsewhere, thanks to the need to pay attention.

  2. 2
    Neil McKenty Says:

    Lady Janus,

    Congratulations on getting rid of your car. You have more chutzpah than I do.

  3. 3
    Barbara Says:

    Whenever I go downtown, I take public transportation. Sometimes, I confess that I drive and park near the metro station. It really is more efficient than using my car and looking for parking. In snowstorms, I find the old BMW (bus-metro-walking) to be fantastic.

  4. 4
    John Says:

    I live on the edge of a small town of 6,000 people. When I retired I walked to town everyday. Sometimes twice. I’d do whatever I needed to do in town, then walk home. Twenty minutes in, twenty minutes back on a trail that winds its way along a river before reaching the edge of town.

    Then somewhere along the line, I convinced myself I had gotten too busy to walk and jumped back into the car. Totally uneccesary really and the funny thing is I was probably getting more done when I walked because I felt better, had more energy etc.

    Time to sit myself down and re-evaluate the need to take the car to town.

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