Existing transportation infrastructures in the region provide a direct link with other parts of the province and the country by road, water, air and rail. Given the importance of transportation links in the socio-economic development of a region, the Bas-Saint-Laurent takes advantage of its favourable geographic location and the resulting modes of transport that have developed.
An Effective Road System
Whether for work, pleasure, business or access to services, people regularly use the network of roads and highways to travel within the region or to other regions. Provincial highways such as the Jean Lesage Autoroute (20) and highways 132, 185, 232 and 195 are the busiest. The region now benefits from an additional stretch of Autoroute 20 between Bic and Rimouski. Work is presently underway to continue the highway to Mont-Joli.
A Unique Public Transportation System
The Rimouski area, which is home to 15% of the region’s population, has an innovative public transportation system. The system, called Taxibus, was developed as a pilot project with the ministère des Transports and uses taxi cabs to transport people across the city. This unique public transportation system is recognized across the province and has served as an example to other towns and cities that are working to develop their transportation systems.
Regional Rail: Part of a Major Line
The Bas-Saint-Laurent region lies along the Montreal-Halifax rail line. Via Rail transports passengers while Canadian National carries cargo.
Appropriate Air Links
The Bas-Saint-Laurent region is home to a federal airport facility at Mont-Joli and three municipal airports at Rivière-du-Loup, Rimouski and Matane.
The airport at Mont-Joli is Eastern Quebec’s main air transportation center managing most of the flights arriving from the west as well as a good number of flights to Quebec, Gaspésie and the Côte-Nord. The airport at Rimouski offers flights to Baie-Comeau and Sept-Îles and also provides a charter plane service.
The Busy St. Lawrence River
Marine cargo transportation in the Bas-Saint-Laurent region operates out of ports at Gros-Cacouna, Rimouski-Est and Matane, while passenger transportation is based mainly at Matane and Rivière-du-Loup. At Rivière-du-Loup, there are ferry crossings to Saint-Siméon while at Matane, year-round ferry service is provided to Godbout and Baie-Comeau. In addition, there is a summer ferry service from Trois-Pistoles to Les Escoumins.
As of the summer of 1997, a new catamaran provides ferry service between Rimouski and Forestville. The vessel can accommodate 30 cars as well as 150 passengers and takes approximately 50 minutes to make the crossing.
|Main Products Handled at
||Primary overseas shipper of products such as: lumber, newsprint, powdered milk, scrap iron, peat and cardboard.
Main port for shipments of products such as: gas, diesel fuel, general merchandise, bulk salt and sand.
Soulignons les activités liées à la pêche commerciale.
Main commercial port for products such as: petroleum products, salt, pulp wood, aluminum products, newsprint and general merchandise. Also shipped: wood pulp.
Commercial fishing activities are also based here.
Breakwater: provides protection for the over-wintering and repair of smaller boats.
|Source : Transport Canada, Vers un réseau de communautés portuaires, Profil des ports publics : plan directeur (volet 1), septembre 1995. |
A Developing Industry
The Bas-Saint-Laurent region has access to four different modes of transportation, research centers which specialize in the transportation domain, such as le Centre de formation et de recherche en transport maritime et intermodal du Québec (CFort) or l’Institut maritime du Québec (IMQ), and companies, such as Bombardier, which manufacture transportation equipment. The region has chosen to maximize these strengths on the one hand, by improving the existing infrastructure as well as passenger and cargo transportation services and on the other, by working to complement these facilities through the development of intermodal services.
The concrete results of these efforts include the creation of a transportation logistics center, the Centre de logistique et de gestion du transport, that offers training and a transportation exchange service where buyers and sellers are put in contact. The aim of the center is to make regional enterprises more competitive by reducing costs related to the transportation of goods.