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App feature helps you plan your new commute with the REM

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For many commuters on Montreal's South Shore, the arrival of the new light-rail (REM) line means a new commute.

To help commuters adapt, a popular public transit app -- appropriately called "Transit App" -- is introducing a new feature.

"Preview mode" helps people plan their trips ahead of time and compare different routes.

"Preview mode, which has been available for the week in advance of the REM launch, really helps people plan their trips in advance," Transit App spokesperson Stephen Miller told CTV News.

The feature will be especially handy given that buses will no longer go over the Champlain Bridge.

Instead, they'll drop people off at REM stations on the South Shore.

"You can plug in your origin and destination, and get that before and after experience and see for yourself 'oh okay, is this gonna take me more time or do I actually save some time with the REM,'" Miller explained.

And speaking of saving time, a new system be launched by Longueuil's public transit network on Aug. 21 will do just that.

"Because buses don't have to go over the bridge and back, that's a lot of hours basically that buses could be running locally in Longueuil, St. Hubert or elsewhere," said Miller. "It's really redirecting those hours to local service."

Right now, the REM doesn't stop in Griffintown, and that's a frustration for some public transit uders.

But Miller says the vast majority of commuters will see a benefit.

"For some people it's going to increase that journey time [...] but for more people, it's going to be a faster ride because REM isn't going to get st uck in traffic, it's gonna be a direct link to Gare Centrale [Central Station] and it's also going to run extremely frequently."

While free rides were offered to the public over the weekend, the REM officially launches on July 31.

Click here to learn more about Transit's new feature. 

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