$10 billion expansion will send REM route into east-end and northern Montreal
MONTREAL -- A $10 billion expansion is planned for Montreal's new light-rail train service, bringing it further north and east.
The three partners behind the project -- the Caisse de Dépôt et Placement du Québec, the province and the city -- unveiled plans today to extend the network to Montreal North and Pointe-aux-Trembles, adding 32 kilometres and 23 stations.
The trains will travel from central station downtown and then along René-Levesque Blvd., on an elevated track, to Notre-Dame St. East.
Once in Hochelaga-Maisonneuve, near Dickson St., it will move underground and branch off: one track will go to Montreal North, the other to Pointe-aux-Trembles.
The route will connect the REM to other public transit systems, such as various bus lines and the Mascouche commuter train line.
According to the province, the price tag is the largest amount ever invested in a public transit project in Québec. The Caisse also says more than 60,000 jobs will be created during construction.
REM trains will come every two to four minutes during rush hour. They'll take just 25 minutes to get downtown from Pointe-aux-Trembles and half an hour from Montreal North.
The newly announced section is expected to be in service by the year 2044. Current estimates put ridership at 133,000 users per day on this portion alone.
The extension is also part of the plan to revitalize the city’s east end, a commitment that Mayor Valerie Plante made early in her mandate.
The next step for the new portion is an environmental impact assessment, which could start as early as next year.
The first phase of the REM has 26 stations and is expected to start running in 2022 after a delay announced last month. It will run seven days a week and have the same hours of operation as the metro.