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REM service to be restricted for six weeks as crews begin noise reduction work


Service on Montreal's new light-rail line will be restricted beginning Sunday so that crews can begin work to make the trains run quieter through residential neighbourhoods.

Trains will no longer run past 10 p.m. from Sunday to Thursday between the Réseau express métropolitain's (REM) Gare centrale and Panama stations. The service disruption will last for six weeks, according to CDPQ Infra, REM's prime contractor, in an e-mail sent to The Canadian Press on Tuesday evening.

The REM usually runs until around 1 a.m. between Gare centrale station in Montreal and Brossard station on the South Shore.

CDPQ Infra points out, however, that service will be maintained on Friday and Saturday evenings. In addition, shuttle buses will run between the two stations during the shutdown.

Trajectoire Québec, an organization that defends public transit users, denounces the service stoppage with only five days' notice.

"We've just taken users by surprise with this announcement on five days' notice, which isn't much for those who will have to adjust their travel plans," says Sarah V. Doyon, General Manager of Trajectoire Québec, in a press release.

According to her, imposing a shuttle-bus connection to the REM between Panama and Brossard stations adds to the inconvenience, while the objective of public transit is "to maintain the quality of service so that users can rely on it."

She points out that CDPQ Infra "should have carried out the work at night, during the shutdown period scheduled precisely for network maintenance, and maintained its commitment to users."

The REM entered service on July 31 between Montreal and Brossard. Several residents in certain residential areas have raised concerns about the level of noise from passing trains.

This report by The Canadian Press was first published in French on Oct. 10, 2023. Top Stories

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