The REM light aerial train will no longer cross downtown

Parts of the new Montreal East REM light rail just braked.

Quebec Premier François Legault and Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante announced the $10 Billion Light Rail Transit The network is literally changing course today.

The original REM de l’Est developer, CDPQ Infra, has now left the project due to what Legault called a lack of “social acceptability” with respect to certain above-ground train lines in Montreal, particularly the along the city center.

Project management will henceforth be entrusted to a new team, made up of employees from the Quebec Ministry of Transport, the City of Montreal and the Société de transport (in collaboration with the ARTM (Autorité régionale de transport métropolitain).

Legault says Quebec’s goal “since day one” was to deliver “the best public transit project possible in eastern Greater Montreal.” He says that as the project evolved, officials are making “the necessary adjustments to fulfill our commitment to build the REM de l’Est.”

Citing public non-acceptance, Legault says “other major changes” are in line for the REM project, but did not provide a revised budget or timeline, but admitted that the new transportation network in common is “crucial for the development of the east end of Montreal. ”

Originally, the East REM was to open to the public in 2029.

Speaking of Montreal alongside Legault, Plante says the original plan to have elevated tracks in Montreal’s east end was a “historic mistake that absolutely had to be avoided.”

Montrealers and the City’s advisory committee said the surface lanes would become an eyesore for Montreal and expected the lanes to take away from the island’s cityscape and affect the quality of life in surrounding neighborhoods, especially Chinatown.

Parts of the rest of the REM (Réseau express métropolitain) are scheduled to open this fall.

Plante asserts that the authorities are taking the necessary measures to carry out the continuation of the REM de l’Est project in “an exemplary manner, as requested by citizens and experts”.

Once built, the entire REM light rail system will connect downtown to the South Shore, West Island, Montreal North and Trudeau Airport. It will be the largest public transport network in the entire metropolitan area.

The 67 km integrated rail network will provide access to 27 stations in the Montreal network and will run 20 hours a day, seven days a week.

It will become the fourth largest automated transport system in the world, according to REM, after Singapore (82 km), Dubai (80 km) and Vancouver (68 km).

Jose P. Rogers