City of Montreal launches app to study how citizens move

The city of Montreal, long the object of citizen scorn during the summer and fall constructions-heavy seasons, is launching an initiative aimed at studying how Montrealers move around the city.

The new MTL Trajet app will be able to record participants’ trips and travel times through whatever mode of transportation they use. The resulting anonymous user data will help the city of Montreal plan its urban transportation network and “optimize mobility.” It will measure the impact of construction, calculate travel time, define alternative routes during traffic disruptions and coordinate traffic lights.

MTL Trajet

Developed by Concordia University’s Transportation Research for Integrated Planning (TRIP) lab, MTL Trajet is one of 70 projects in the 2015-2017 Montréal Smart and Digital City Action Plan. The city is encouraging those over the age of 18 to download the app and record at least 25 individual trips around the city from Monday all the way until November 17.

Clearly, the city realizes its rather tarnished reputation in the eyes of commuters and drivers during this part of the year. It acknowledged that there are “a tremendous amount of construction projects going on.”

“We want to make an effort to improve users’ mobility, whatever their mode of transportation. The MTL Trajet app is one of several measures we are putting forward to make travelling around Montréal easier,” reads the project’s website.

“Data from citizens allow us to map their journeys and to calculate their travel time. We can then develop more efficient transport systems using a model that could be adopted by smart cities around the world,” Zachary Patterson, associate professor at Concordia’s Department of Geography, Planning and Environment, told JournalMetro.

Montrealers only need to download the MTL Trajet app free of charge from the Apple Store or Google Play and record 25 trips between October 17 and November 17, 2016.

And there are potential prizes to be won, inluding free metro travel through STM, an iPad, two $250 gift certificates to an outdoor store, a pair of tickets to a Habs match, a pair of tickets for a MSO concert and five Bixi memberships.

Prizes will be drawn on December 9.

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