The EBN: Montréal's Express Bike Network

Last updated December 15, 2022
Reading time: 3 min

The EBN, or Express Bike Network, is a proposed 184-km bicycle path network connecting various points of interest on the island of Montréal. This network, consisting mainly of protected lanes, will ensure the comfort and safety of cyclists.

Montréal is a city for cyclists. The EBN allows residents to get around safely, efficiently and enjoyably. The EBN will help to achieve the goal of 15 per cent of utility trips by bicycle in the metropolis by 2027.

Benefits for the entire population

The EBN offers numerous benefits, not only for cyclists, but for all Montrealers:

  • A reduction of greenhouse gas emissions
  • Traffic mitigation
  • Reduction of noise and visual nuisances
  • Safer travel by bike
  • Improved access to downtown and points of interest
  • Improved quality of life for residents
  • Revitalization of commercial streets and neighbourhood life
  • Higher customer traffic in stores

A distinct space for each type of user

The EBN provides clear boundaries for spaces dedicated to each mode of transportation, whether pedestrian, bike, bus or car. This improves everybody’s comfort and sense of safety.

Features of the EBN

Cyclist comfort and safety is ensured by several design features: 

  • Bicycle lanes separated from vehicular traffic, accessible year-round, with sufficient width for passing
  • Routes that allow travelling long distances by the most direct path possible
  • Connections to existing bike lanes.

Signage and path markings are provided to help you find your way around.

Completed routes

Route 1 – Rue Berri/Rue Lajeunesse/Rue Saint-Denis

Route 1, which crosses the island of Montréal from north to south, 1 has more than 8.7 km of bicycle paths. From Boulevard Gouin to Rue Roy, this backbone route passes through four boroughs and connects many important sites, such as Rue Saint-Denis (a major commercial thoroughfare), the Sauvé intermodal station, the Jean-Talon market, and the Marc-Favreau and Plateau libraries.

Route 3 – Rue Souligny

Route 3 extends from Rue Honoré-Beaugrand to Avenue Hector in the borough of Mercier-Hochelaga-Maisonneuve. It provides connections to the Maison de la culture Mercier, École secondaire Édouard-Montpetit and Aréna Clément-Jetté. It consists of a 2.1 km bidirectional bike path.

Route 4 – Rue Peel

From Boulevard De Maisonneuve to Rue Smith, this 1.7 km long route will cross downtown Montréal, passing through the Quartier des gares and the Griffintown district. Many points of interest will be linked by this route, including McGill and Concordia universities, the École de technologie supérieure, the Bell Centre, Rue Sainte-Catherine, the Peel Basin and several metro and REM stations. Bike lanes will be located on both sides of Rue Peel. Construction of Route 4 has been integrated into the Rue Peel infrastructure project. Learn more about theRue Peel project.

Route 5 – Rue De Bellechasse

From Avenue De Gaspé to Rue Chatelain, this 6 km route connects many establishments, including the Marc-Favreau, La Petite-Patrie and Rosemont libraries, the Collège de Rosemont, the Montréal Heart Institute, and the Maisonneuve-Rosemont and Santa Cabrini hospitals.  For more information on bike path projects in the Rosemont La-Petite-Patrie borough, visit the Vision vélo page (in French).

Planned routes

Route 2 – Avenue Viger/Rue Saint-Antoine/Rue Saint-Jacques

From Avenue De Courcelle to Rue Berri, this 5.4 km route will cross Le Sud-Ouest and Ville-Marie, connecting downtown landmarks such as the Quartier des spectacles, Old Montréal, the École de technologie supérieure, the Bell Centre and the Atwater market.

Different types of bike lanes

The EBN can take three different forms, depending on the surrounding environment.

Evolutionary

The evolutionary type of bike path is favoured on routes where traffic is already calm, where there are no trucks or buses and where no civil engineering work is required on the street.This is the fastest way to implement a bike lane and also the one that requires the least amount of work. There are markings on the ground to delineate the path and bollards to physically separate it from the automobile traffic lanes. 

Example of an evolutionary EBN: Route 5 – Rue De Bellechasse

Transitional

This design is used when there’s a desire to improve pedestrian and cyclist safety at specific locations without major construction. In addition to the features of the evolutionary design, there are additional features within the existing roadway, such as concrete walls near intersections and bus stops.

Example of a transitional EBN: Route 1 - Rue Berri/Rue Lajeunesse/Rue Saint-Denis

Permanent

Permanent EBN lanes are built as part of a major street construction project. For example, when replacing water and sewer mains, the surface configuration is also redesigned. Mid-height bike lanes are installed between the sidewalk and the roadway. 

A representative permanent EBN segment: Route 4 – Rue Peel