The mayor of St-Laurent claimed his plan to link the Orange metro line to the new REM commuter train system is gaining traction.

Alan DeSousa said he’s spoken to officials at the federal level who have been receptive to the idea. The plan, which DeSousa first started pushing in 2016, would involve extending the Orange line from Cote-Vertu to link to the REM’s Bois Franc line.

It’s not the first time expanding the Orange line has been proposed. In 1986 construction began on a tunnel that would expand the line to Bois Franc but that project was eventually abandoned.

However, DeSousa said he was told that any action on his plan would only be made official after next week’s election.

“Not only would it allow for better connectivity between the metro and REM line but in the event of something happening in the tunnel it would go a long way towards ensuring the security of the whole system,” said DeSousa. “You can imagine if there was incident that blocked up the tunnel, the whole system would back up to Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue, to the airport and to Two Mountains.”

Last week the Liberals announced if re-elected they would invest $30 billion into public transit over the next decade, which would include potential funding for major projects such as extending the Orange line and helping finance the Pink line proposed by Montreal Mayor Valerie Plante. DeSousa said he’s spoken to other parties who have expressed interest in the extension.

Both the New Democratic Party and the Green Party have committed to funding the Pink line while the Green Party has also pledged to expand the Yellow line to the South Shore.  The Conservatives have also pledged to prioritize public transportation, with a focus on projects that would lower commute times.