QUEBEC CITY, Que. - A study recently released by Quebec's Transport Ministry shows just how many trucks based there travelled out of province - in 1999.In fact, the data for the study was collected fr...
QUEBEC CITY, Que. – A study recently released by Quebec’s Transport Ministry shows just how many trucks based there travelled out of province – in 1999.
In fact, the data for the study was collected from 240,000 long distance hauls carried out during a sample week in the fall of 1999. The study found fully 44 per cent (105,000) travelled out of province to destinations in the U.S. or elsewhere in Canada.
But that’s besides the point, say Quebec trucking insiders.”Some of the information is interesting, but much of it is so old it’s not even relevant anymore,” said Quebec Trucking Association president Marc Brouillette. Brouillette is owner of SAS Transport, a Quebec-based company with 80 tractors.
“The transportation industry changes so quickly most of the results from 1999 can’t be a good reflection of reality today. Why the government has decided to bring out these figures now I don’t know.”
Even so, some of the findings are accurate, at least in spirit, said Brouillette.
“The study does say trucks were doing more mileage in 1999 than they were five years before, and that’s still true today,” he said. “That’s because we have to do more miles to make the same amount of money.”
But the Quebec Transport Ministry is largely behind the times, said Brouillette, mainly because the province has seen three different transport ministers and two different governments in two years. “There hasn’t been time to develop a transportation policy for trucks and that’s what’s needed,” said Brouillette.
Asked whether he thinks the recent release of the 1999 study is an indication Quebec plans to develop a policy, Brouillette said he certainly hoped so. “I certainly hope this starts the ball rolling – it’s been two years since we’ve had a policy. And right now we don’t even have a confirmed one. Once we get one it’s going to take at least six months to get the ball rolling again.”
The study in question found 54 per cent of truck traffic (or 130,000 trips) travelled primarily to Quebec destinations, and two per cent travelled exclusively to destinations inside the province.
The study also found Highways 20 and the 401 between Montreal and Toronto, were the most travelled routes for trucks heading in and out of province, three times more so than Highway 15 through the Lacolle border crossing. Also revealed was the fact that 58 per cent of kilometres travelled by long-distance haulers in Quebec was travelled on roadways outside the province.
The Montreal region was of course a major destination for truck traffic in Quebec; 63 per cent of truck trips (152,000) passed through the area every week, of which only 21 per cent did not stop there. Highway 40 in Montreal was the major thoroughfare for long-distance trucking in Quebec, with more than 100,000 truck trips along it every week.