Five new water shuttle routes between Montreal and the South Shore are opening this summer under a new pilot project, the regional transit authority announced Wednesday.
The Autorité régionale de transport métropolitain (ARTM) will also be bringing back the route linking Pointe-aux-Trembles to Montreal's Old Port for a fourth season.
Since 2018 it had been in operation as a pilot project. It ran for only one week in its first year, but over the past three had been given the green light to take on passengers between mid-May and mid-October.
"The expansion of our pilot project will allow us to analyze whether we will go ahead with a permanent network of river shuttles," Benoît Gendron, the executive director of the ARTM, said in a statement.
The new routes will include a connection between the Old Port and Boucherville, and one between the Old Port, Île Sainte-Hélène and Longueuil, with the first two routes opening on June 4.
By June 6, a route linking Boucherville and Bellerive Park in Hochelaga-Maisonneuve will also be added. This will also provide more options for those inconvenienced by the construction on the Louis-Hippolyte-La Fontaine tunnel on Highway 25, the ARTM says.
Next will come an express service between the Old Port and Île Sainte-Hélène, starting on June 18, followed by a route linking Bellerive Park and Charron Island on June 24.
Children under 11 will be able to ride for free.
"This is a big step in the right direction to both improve and diversify public transit offered in Montreal, and to meet the environmental challenges of our time," said Chantal Rouleau, the province's junior transport minister, who is also responsible for the Montreal region.
The shuttle expansion is being supported with funding from the city of Montreal and Quebec's Transport Ministry.