Before a well-attended Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal luncheon, Andre Navarri, president/chief operating officer of Bombardier Transportation, discussed his perspectives on public transit solutions and the future of passenger rail transportation.
"Based on our global experience, we at Bombardier believe that mobility is the heart of sustainable economic growth and development," said Andre Navarri to Montreal economic and business leaders. "We are seeing in most countries a unique opportunity to rethink and transform approaches to transportation. An opportunity to rebalance the three major modes of transportation — air, road and rail — to consume less energy, reduce congestion and lower pollution levels."
Navarri pointed to many regions around the globe where there were examples of initiatives to rebalance urban transport systems toward sustainable models, with some of the leaders — the Agence metropolitaine de transport, the Societe de transport de Montreal and VIA Rail located in Montreal.
Navarri also cited the Quebec government's electrification initiative as an important step in facing the challenge of sustainable mobility. Currently, 50% of all public transit commutes in Quebec use an electric-powered mode of transport. Under its Action Plan, the Quebec government will put in place mechanisms to help transportation systems make a smooth transition and to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the transportation sector. By 2030, Quebec's target is that 95% of all public transit commutes will use electricity.
The current economic situation has not stopped investment in rail. Navarri pointed out that infrastructure stimulus and concern about climate change have increased investment around the world resulting in a high level of activity taking place in public transit worldwide.
Analysts in North America predict that over the next five years, public transit needs in major cities will double. Areas like Montreal, Ottawa, Toronto, Vancouver, New Jersey, New York, Chicago and San Francisco are making substantial investments in all segments of the rail market.
In Canada, Navarri explained that Bombardier is now delivering the latest generation of metro cars with its cutting-edge technology for Toronto. The Montreal metro project is also progressing according to schedule, he said.