Eastern REM | A “credible” study called for on an extension to the northern crown

Mayors of Greater Montreal are calling for a “credible, serious and transparent” study on an extension of the REM from the East to the northern crown of the metropolis, deeming it essential to change the habits of transport in the suburbs.

Posted on 1is June 2021 at 4:18 pm

Henri Ouellette-Vézina

“The train de l’Est offers five departures during peak periods, while the REM will be departures every five to ten minutes. We are not in the same service offering. When we are told that the solution will be through bus shuttles to Pointe-aux-Trembles, we fear that people will instead use their vehicles to get there ”, explains to Press the mayor of Terrebonne, Marc-André Plante.

The Table of Prefects and Elected Officials of the North Crown (TPÉCN), which brings together five RCMs and twenty municipalities, openly criticized Tuesday the “attitude” of the subsidiary of the Caisse de dépôt, CDPQ Infra, accusing it of refuse “to carry out a credible, serious and transparent study on the extension of the REM from the east to the northern crown”. The group claims that it is the Regional Metropolitan Transport Authority (ARTM) which prepares an opportunity case, in the context.

For Mayor Plante, “the study that was carried out was carried out to bring the REM to downtown Repentigny, without ever being concerned with all” of the municipalities in the eastern part of the northern crown and its 290 000 residents.

We were never consulted, and it was based on current users. However, if we want to bring people to public transit, we must generate a greater supply.

Marc-André Plante, Mayor of Terrebonne

The mayoress of Repentigny and president of the TPÉCN, Chantal Deschamps, affirms that the Eastern REM “is inequitable” in its current form. “To give you an idea, more than 66% of our citizens’ trips are now made within the crown, from east to west, and nearly 40% that go to large centers. So the needs are urgent and we have not finished, we are in full development, ”she said at a press conference.

“Already dying, the Mascouche line has lost almost all of its appeal in recent months due to the effects of phase 1 of the REM work. With the closure of the tunnel under Mount Royal, the Mascouche – downtown trip now takes 1 hour 45 minutes by train, or about 40 minutes more than by car, ”also illustrated the mayor of Mascouche, Guillaume Tremblay.

Quebec is proactive

Ministers Chantal Rouleau and François Bonnardel both reacted on Tuesday to the exit of elected officials. “There are many requests for more public transit in the Montreal region. […] We have honored our commitments with the announcement of the Eastern REM, which will benefit users of the northern ring, by leading to major reductions in travel time. We are continuing the work ”, reacted the Minister responsible for the Metropolis and delegate to Transport, in a statement.

Minister Bonnardel’s office said it was “aware that the PQ and Liberal governments did not have the ambition necessary for the northern crown”.

“We are in action on several fronts,” said press secretary Florence Plourde, reiterating that as much Mascouche, Terrebonne or Repentigny will have reductions in travel time to the city center. In the first case, it will be 49 minutes – always including correspondence – against 1 h 45, according to Quebec. In the second, 41 minutes against 1 h 37, and in the third, 35 minutes against 1 h 30.

The Legault government affirms that the Metropolitan Network of Reserved Lanes (RMVR), announced in September, will play a large part, as will the work to extend the A-19 and the establishment of a reserved lane on the A-15. . “These projects will change the face of mobility in the northern crown”, concludes Mme Plourde.

The director of public affairs and spokesperson for the REM, Virginie Cousineau, reiterates that the scenario unveiled for the east and the northeast is “a benchmark project” whose effects will already extend “beyond the metropolis” . “With regard to the North Crown in particular, we are also analyzing a project for Laval according to the mandate of the Government of Quebec. The conclusions of these analyzes will be presented shortly to the competent authorities ”, she indicates in writing.

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