Monday, November 28, 2016

Montréal REM project expanding

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A rendering of the McGill station, which will allow a connection between the REM and the Montreal métro green line. A rendering of the McGill station, which will allow a connection between the REM and the Montreal métro green line. CNW Group/CDPQ Infra Inc.

The number of stations and their associated costs have grown for a proposed 41-mile light rail system in Montréal, Québec.

CDPQ Infra, a subsidiary of Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, has added three new stations to the Réseau électrique métropolitain (REM) project that organizers say will "significantly improve downtown Montréal service and further integrate the REM into the métro system."

The Bassin Peel, McGill and Édouard-Montpetit stations bring the number of stations along the proposed route to 27. However, as the number of stations grows, as do the costs of the project, which is now estimated to be C$5.9 billion (US$4.4 billion), a C$400 million (US$298 million) increase.

To finance the new stations, la Caisse will increase its participation by C$100 million (US$74.6 million), bringing its total commitment to the project to C$3.1 billion (US$2.3 billion). Montréal is also announcing a C$100 million (US$74.6 million) commitment toward the construction of these three stations. The Québec government will be a financial partner in the construction of these three stations. The exact amount will be announced at a later date.

"With the addition of the three downtown stations, the REM is even more transformative for Montréal. The McGill Station, in the heart of downtown, and the Édouard-Montpetit Station, close to Université de Montréal and hospitals in the Côte-des-Neiges area, will add connections to the Green and Blue lines. The Bassin Peel Station will create faster and easier access to Griffintown and Pointe-Saint-Charles, vibrant areas undergoing significant growth. It's a 50-year-old vision that is taking shape with the realization of an integrated 138-km (85.7-mile) public transit network that meets the needs of users," said Denis Coderre, mayor of Montréal and president of Montréal Metropolitan Community.

Over the past few months, CDPQ Infra says it has carried out a consultation process with different stakeholders, involving more than 150 participants. Open house sessions have reached more than 1,500 people to date, in all areas that would be served by the REM's extensive network. Construction of the REM, including the three new stations, remains conditional upon the financial participation of the governments of Québec and Canada, which form an integral part of the prospective financing structure.

In early February, CDPQ Infra said it had five qualified bidders for two of the project's construction contracts.





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