MONTREAL - Montreal commuters have chosen the new look for the next generation of metro cars that will roll underground.

But Quebec Solidaire MNA Amir Khadir says the price for the new metro cars will likely be much higher than expected.

In October 2010 the provincial government put an end to an open bid and awarded the contract for the metro cars to the Bombardier-Alstom consortium.

The total price for 468 cars was then listed at $1.2 billion dollars, or $2.64 million each.

Competitors CAF and Zhuzhou said that was much higher than they would charge, and could build the metro cars in Quebec for about $1.2 million each.

Now Khadir says the real total price for the Bombardier-Alstom contract will be closer to $1.9 billion.

However, when it comes to the price for the mostly made-in-Quebec trains, the STM says the strength of the Canadian dollar will actually decrease the price.

Michael Labrecque, president of the STM's board of directors, says each car will now cost $2.54 million, and that the extra costs Khadir is referring to don't include the actual cars themselves.

"We have to repair the garage that's part of the project too. We have a simulator because we want to train the drivers in a simulator, it's more 2010," said Labrecque.

Colour scheme selected

Meanwhile, given a choice between three options, 30,000 people voted with a majority in favour of a colour scheme that resembles the current look of a metro cars.

The differences are slight: the first car on the train will have a brushed steel front, while the side panels will incorporate the same blue background.

However the white stripe will be narrower, and there will stripes immediately above and below the windows.

In addition the space between the window panels will be black.

Labrecque says changing the basic colour scheme of blue and white was never an option.

"The colour won't be original, because Montrealers are attached to this signature colour," said Labrecque.

The next step for the STM is to consult the public for a name for the metro cars, which currently go by the ungainly engineering name of MDM-10.

An online poll will be rolled out next month at the STM's consultation website.