Montreal’s light rail line to the city’s south shore won’t open until spring 2023 – Montreal

The branch of Montreal’s light rail network to the south shore of the city will not be operational by the end of the year as planned.

Service on the Réseau express métropolitain (REM) link to Brossard has been officially postponed to spring 2023, as announced on Friday by the CDPQ Infrathe infrastructure projects component of the Quebec public pension fund.

Jean-Marc Arbaud, chairman and chief executive, said bringing the link into service during the winter would have been “far from ideal”.

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Majority of Montreal’s REM light rail stations won’t open until late 2024

CDPQ Infra wants to do more tests on the line during cold months when operating conditions are more difficult. Officials say the aim is for transit users to have “the best possible experience, as soon as possible”.

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“Our teams have worked hard over the past few months in a challenging environment to provide a reliable network,” Arbaud said in a statement. “Taking a few more months to deliver an experience that lived up to expectations was the responsible decision to make.”

It is not the first time the opening of the REM branch between the city and Brossard has been postponed. When it was postponed earlier this year, officials pointed to several challenges, including the COVID-19 pandemic and supply chain issues.

The latest delay comes as commuters traveling between Montreal and its south shore are set to face more traffic problems. The Louis-Hippolyte-La Fontaine tunnel will be partially closed from the end of the month for major repairs. It should not reopen until the end of 2025.

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Meanwhile, Montreal’s future light rail system has seen further delays this year. In June, it was announced that the majority of REM stations would not open until the end of 2024.

The huge public transit network will have 26 stations and will span 67 kilometers of track in the Montreal metropolitan area.

– with files from Tim Sargeant of Global News and The Canadian Press

© 2022 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

Jose P. Rogers