Thursday, April 12 marked the beginning of construction for the REM, an electric train system that would link downtown Montreal, South Shore, West Island, North Shore, and the Montreal-Trudeau Airport.
Construction kicked off with a press conference and an opening ceremony, where partners, media, staff, as well as Premier Philippe Couillard and Mayor Valerie Plante were present.
Plante was quick to welcome the launch of REM, describing it as a major “improvement to public transit offerings in the greater Montreal area.” She shared how it adds to the recent progress in public transport, but acknowledges that the city needs to keep pushing the boundaries of their current network.
Groundbreaking ceremony: “In a few years, @REMgrandmtl will welcome aboard its first riders, offering them a public transportation system that is reliable, fast and frequent, that simplifies their day-to-day, with more efficiency ” M. Sabia https://t.co/h6bD3CihBK pic.twitter.com/MGW9mCKum5
— CDPQ (@LaCDPQ) April 12, 2018
The integrated 67 km train system will provide access to 27 stations and will run 20 hours a day, seven days a week.
All stations will be designed with ease of access in mind for pedestrians, bicycles, cars, and busses. Stations built will be covered, climate-controlled, and equipped with elevators.
The province has invested $1.28 billion for the new train system and the federal government will also commit $1.28 billion to the project.
The system is expected to be open for public use in the summer of 2021, offering transportation to the first riders of the south shore branch. Michael Sabia, of REM, shares that 800 people will begin working next week. Several thousand more will join in the summer. In total, there will be approximately 34,000 jobs created during construction.
Le 8 février dernier, @LaCDPQ a annoncé que la construction du REM, dont le gouv du Québec et le gouv du Canada sont partenaires, débuterait en avril 2018 et que les premiers usagers monteraient à bord dès l’été 2021. Nous respectons notre engagement en lançant les travaux ajd. pic.twitter.com/1o0g0vL6ha
— Philippe Couillard (@phcouillard) April 12, 2018
Here’s what the REM is expected to look like closer to completion: