The CCMM anticipates a drop in traffic of nearly 25% in the downtown area post-pandemic

The CCMM anticipates a drop in traffic of nearly 25% in the post-pandémie downtown core

Michel Leblanc, President and CEO of the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal

The adoption of hybrid models in the labor market could reduce the traffic of workers in downtown Montreal by approximately 19% to 25% in the coming months, according to the Chamber of Commerce of Montreal Metropolitan (CCMM).

The President and CEO of the CCMM, Michel Leblanc, presented Friday morning the results of a recent study on the revival of downtown Montreal. “It is estimated that there will be between 19% to 25% drop in traffic on a daily basis in the city center once the balance is restored to 100% of people who come,” he said. .

In addition, the CCMM predicts that this will lead to a “spending drop” of around 14%. “It’s huge,” said Mr. Leblanc. If we say that the city center is a commercial area, that means that in this area there will be 25% fewer customers. Even if they are 25% less, there will still be spending that will be done by residents, tourists and workers.

However, the CCMM mentions that the pandemic will have a positive impact on commercial arteries located outside the city center. “Businesses in the city center will probably not find the same expenditure per individual since these individuals will have found businesses outside the city center”, underlined Michel Leblanc.

Action tracks

Over the past year, downtown Montreal has been hit hard by the pandemic. The absence of tourists, students and workers has had a major impact on the commercial fabric of this highly strategic sector for the metropolis, indicated Michel Leblanc. According to him, the risks of destructuring his business base are very real.

The president of the CCMM thinks, however, that courses of action could reduce the negative impact of the pandemic on the city center, without eliminating it completely. “It starts with the action of companies. The installation of these hybrid models must go well,” he said.

Indeed, according to him, companies have a responsibility to clarify how hybrid work models work as well as adjust office spaces and schedules to ensure that coming to work downtown is predictable for the public. employee. However, according to the CCMM, still a third of companies have still not communicated to their employees work plans including hybrid models. “And we still only have 70% of employees who are satisfied when they receive it, so there is work to be done on the business side,” said Mr. Leblanc.

In addition, he suggests enhancing the downtown experience by improving its accessibility with public transit, in particular. “Coming to the city center in the next year must not be perceived as the horror,” he added.

By ensuring that the city center remains attractive, the estimate of a drop in traffic of around 25% could be reduced and the expense of around 14% could increase, estimates the CCMM. “We need a downtown strategy. It’s not a long-term strategy, but it’s a necessary strategy, underlined Michel Leblanc. […] The budgets will have to be there.”

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