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Eastern REM | Possible extension to Rivière-des-Prairies, not downtown



The new “reference route” of the REM de l’Est is no longer directly connected to downtown Montreal, but could extend into Rivière-des-Prairies east of the A25, in the east of Laval or even in Lanaudière.

The route, quite similar to that of CDPQ Infra, would pass through a green line station (Assomption) and a future extended blue line station (Lacordaire).

This is shown on a map of the Regional Metropolitan Transport Authority (ARTM) included in a call for tenders published in the last few days. The organization is looking for a company that will provide technical support to the project’s “working group”, on which sit the ARTM, the City of Montreal, Quebec and the Société de transport de Montréal (STM). It is this body that took over the file after the withdrawal of CDPQ Infra, in May 2022.


Reference route and sectors of potential extensions of the REM de l’Est

The possibility of extending the REM from the East to Lanaudière or Laval had already been mentioned by François Legault. This is the first time that an extension to Rivière-des-Prairies has been on the table. This extension could reach an undetermined point on boulevard Gouin Est, or even a possible “Rivière-des-Prairies terminus”, the location of which is unknown.

However, these extensions are far from guaranteed.

The company chosen to provide technical support to the working group must also contribute to “confirming the opportunity [du projet et des prolongements] with regard to the demand for mobility”. It must also help to “evaluate the technical pre-feasibility and urban integration”, to evaluate the cost of the project and to “compare the integration solutions, the alternative routes and the new routes”.

Additional studies

The company that wins the call for tenders will have to carry out traffic simulations, a “diagnostic portrait” of the territory to be served and a “mobility portrait”. The ARTM expects to need more than 17,000 hours of work by architects, engineers and their support teams.

The contract is for one year.

The tender documents specify that the work of the working group should be completed in June 2023. An “interim report” is, however, expected by the end of this year.

These documents will be added to all those ordered by CDPQ Infra during the two years when the organization held the reins of the project. In all, nearly 100 million were spent, an amount reimbursed by Quebec as provided for in the project development contract.

“We don’t lose hope”

The debates around the route of the network continue to animate Montreal civil society despite the abandonment of the project by CDPQ Infra, in May 2022. Quebec and the City of Montreal announced at the same time that the project would be carried out without a direct link with the downtown – the most controversial section of the project – triggering several criticisms.

The East Montreal Chamber of Commerce argued that such a disconnection was unacceptable: “The chosen solution must offer a direct connection to downtown, connect East Montreal to the entire metropolitan territory and maximize territorial coverage. »

At the end of August, the real estate developer Christian Yaccarini and the general manager of Vivre en ville, Christian Savard, had proposed a REM project in the East with an underground link to the city center.

Thursday evening, Mr. Savard said he was disappointed, but not surprised by the ARTM card. “I would like us to also study the option of going downtown by a different route from that of CDPQ Infra,” he said. We do not lose hope, we will continue to work to convince. »

The ARTM did not respond to a request for information from The Press.

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