Traffic is frustrating taxi drivers (and travelers) at the Montreal airport this summer.
The wait has gotten so bad that taxi drivers say it’s become commonplace to see travelers get out of their vehicles and drag their luggage the last few hundred yards (or more) to the airport, instead of waiting in line.
“The traffic is terrible here,” said Hamid Reza Agzchi, a taxi driver who is waiting in endless queues at the airport.
It starts every day at rush hour, Agzchi said on Wednesday, although an airport spokesman said things got worse between Wednesday and Sunday.
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The traffic, which Transports Québec says has nothing to do with it or any major construction the provincial Ministry of Transportation is working on, begins at Dorval Circle, or east of it if drivers try to reach the airport via the highway. 20 or the freeway. 520, which tends to be congested during rush hour and runs all the way to the departure and arrival terminals.
“I see so many customers stop and walk,” Agzchi said.
Agzchi and his colleagues say the traffic is costing them time and money.
“It takes an hour to get there,” said taxi driver Malek Louzoni. “We lost a lot of time”.
Ripon Patwery, another taxi driver, said the situation was “completely out of control”.
“It’s very bad now if you go to the airport,” he said. “Everywhere there is traffic, (Freeway) 520, (Freeway) 20, Dorval Circle, Cardinal (Avenue), everywhere. Some people are walking to the airport now.
“We are wasting time, we are wasting our money because there is more time. Everyone is stuck in traffic.”
The airport, in a statement, said the traffic was due to “increased passenger traffic, as well as roadworks that may take place in the surrounding area.”
A spokesman for Aéroports de Montréal (ADM), the corporation that operates Trudeau International Airport, said they are aware of increased traffic to the airport.
The airport has increased the number of ramp patrol officers to help move traffic, which it says is mostly made up of people dropping off travelers or coming to pick up people whose plane has landed.
ADM suggests that people use one of the three CellParc parking lots where “greeters and greeters” can wait for passengers free of charge for up to two hours. “We encourage people to use them to avoid blocking the drop zone,” the airport said in a statement.
“We are evaluating other mitigation measures to reduce congestion until we can complete the redevelopment of the delivery area,” the ADM statement said.
In late May, construction work on Highway 20 slowed traffic and dozens of people, including a group of students from Sherbrooke, Que., who were supposed to be heading to Greece, missed their flights.
The traffic has generated criticism and attention on social media.
Georges Saint-Pierre, the famed mixed martial artist, posted a short clip of the traffic on X, formerly known as Twitter, using a slur to refer to the airport for his two million followers.