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REM Construction — Investment of almost $200 M for mitigation measures

2019-02-28 — Montréal, February 28, 2019 — The Minister for Transport and Minister Responsible for the Metropolis and the Montréal Region, Chantal Rouleau; the Minister Responsible for Indigenous Affairs and Minister Responsible for the Laurentides Region, Sylvie D’Amours; the Director General of the Autorité régionale de transport métropolitain (ARTM), Paul Côté; and the Executive Director — corporate affairs and development of CDPQ Infra, Harout Chitilian, presented the strategy for the mitigation of the work on the Réseau express métropolitain (REM), which aims to provide specific solutions to users affected by the beginning of the largest public transit project in Québec in 50 years.

An unprecedented metropolitan cooperation, which brought together all players in mobility, made the construction of the REM possible. The ministère des Transports, the REM, the ARTM and all public transit authorities worked hard to develop a transitional transportation network that provides specific solutions to the users concerned.

In order to meet the expectations of users, these measures aim to deliver a reliable service, with as few transfers as possible and a travel time that compares with that of cars. The direction adopted was to quickly implement bus preferential measures (bus-only roadways, reserved lanes on shoulders, priority traffic lights, etc.) with efficient links to the Radission metro station (Green Line) for Mascouche Line users, and to the Côte-Vertu station (Orange Line) for Deux-Montagnes Line users.

To ensure the implementation of this transitional mitigation network, the gouvernement du Québec and the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec will invest almost $200 million to fund these measures, which will be in force as of 2020 until the REM is fully operational at the end of 2023.

It should be noted that starting January 2020, Mascouche Line trains will stop at the Ahuntsic station, while trains from Deux-Montagnes will end their route at the Bois-Franc station. A second phase is planned during the summer of 2021, as rail shuttles on the Deux-Montagne axis will be out of service. These major obstructions will allow the entire conversion of the Deux-Montagnes Line into an automated light rail transit system, which will significantly increase its capacity while providing a quick, frequent service that is better connected to the metropolitan public transit network.

In addition to bus preferential measures, fare mitigation measures are planned to support users who will experience a lower level of service. A carpooling component will also be given special consideration.

Other measures outside public transit will be implemented, including an “employer component” that will focus on ways to change work habits, for example, telework and flexible working hours.

Quotes:

“Your government is aware of the changes in commute habits that Deux-Montagnes and Mascouche commuter train line users will experience, as well as users’ concerns. Today, I would like to reassure them and confirm that nothing was left to chance, and all required mitigation measures will be in effect as of 2020. Considering the exceptional situation caused by the implementation of the REM on the North Shore and in Laval, a management office was created to take advantage of the expertise and knowledge of the area of local elected official for planning and monitoring the implementation of REM mitigation measures. Let’s not forget that with the REM, the Montréal metropolitan region will enter a new era in public transit and sustainable mobility. This ambitious and innovative project will give all public transit users increased flexibility and mobility.”

Chantal Rouleau, Minister for Transport and Minister Responsible for the Metropolis and the Montréal Region

“The transitional mitigation network will adequately ensure the 8 000 daily trips on the Mascouche commuter train line. Although users will have to make one transfer, the proposed solutions will decrease travel times. I would like to acknowledge the excellent collaboration between the various players: the STM, STL, RTL, ARTM, REM, MTQ and exo. Without this collaboration, it would have been impossible to develop this strategy.”

Pierre Fitzgibbon, Minister of Economy and Innovation and Minister Responsible for the Lanaudière Region

“There are more than 30 000 trips on the Deux-Montagne commuter train line each day. Careful planning will be required to ensure the movement of users. This is why there is an exceptional mobilization of all players to provide concrete solutions by 2020. I am pleased to see that the government invests the necessary funds to implement the mitigation measures.”

Sylvie D’Amours, Minister Responsible for Indigenous Affairs and Minister Responsible for the Laurentides Region

“As soon as the REM project was announced, the ARTM brought the expertise of mobility partners and coordinated their efforts to develop fare mitigation measures and manage to maintain efficient public transit services toward downtown Montréal. We wish to encourage users to continue using the public transit services available, while recognizing that their travel habits will change significantly.”

Paul Côté, Director General of the Autorité régionale de transport métropolitain

“The REM is a unifying project that will change the way to travel in Montréal and the surrounding areas. To ensure its completion, we have to propose specific solutions to the public transit users affected in their everyday life. The mobilization of all mobility players was necessary to develop and implement measures specific to each sector concerned as of 2020. We would like to thank every one of our partners for their continued cooperation. Thanks to these efforts, we will complete the REM, which is the largest public transit project in 50 years.”

Harout Chitilian, Executive Director — corporate affairs and development, CDPQ Infra

Highlights:

  • Principles underlying the REM work mitigation strategy for 2019-2023:
    • improve current services;
    • implement bus preferential measures to improve the reliability of bus routes, especially on the freeway network;
    • Encourage the convergence of routes to metro stations, high-frequency bus service lines or REM stations once the REM is operational;
    • Favour measures that offer the shortest travel time and the fewest transfers
  • Steps toward the implementation of the transitional mitigation network:
    • 2018: Mitigation strategy design
    • 2019: Planning and announcement of detailed measures
    • 2020: Implementation of measures and continued monitoring
  • Major metropolitan collaboration projects to define the proposed transitional network:
    • A technical committee to determine the reserved lanes to prioritize in the metropolitan region;
    • A task force with users of the lines concerned and Trajectoire Québec;
    • A discussion panel with municipalities and boroughs to align the measures studied with their needs;
    • A forum to determine complementary public transit measures for the mobility, lifestyle and work schedule of users concerned (carpooling, telework, flexible working hours, etc.)
  • REM mitigation measure management office in Laval–Basses-Laurentides
  • Information to the population by Mobility Montréal, in cooperation with public transit partners, and by the REM and the ARTM.

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