Anyone who uses public transit knows the importance of getting where you need to be on time. Whether you're heading to work or school, your ride needs to be fast, reliable, and easy.
Montreal brought the metro system into the city in the 1960s, and since then, the way we get from point A to B has more or less stayed the same (the last extensions were in 1988 and 2007 on the blue and orange lines). But times are changing for public transportation in Montreal. A new transit system is being introduced, and not only is it going to be the most important transport project in 50 years, it will also completely change the way we ride the metro!
The Réseau express métropolitain, or REM for short, will be the city's new above-ground "light rail" metro system. With 26 stations and stops at key spots throughout the island, the system will provide a quick and easy mode of transport into the city for those living outside of Montreal's urban core (like those of you in the South Shore or West Island).
The new driverless, electric metro will have four branches connected to the downtown core and provide commuters with three metro connections (Bonaventure, McGill, and Édouard-Montpetit). Those traveling from McGill (green line) to Édouard-Montpetit (blue line) will find their travel time reduced to just three minutes!
And if you're headed to the airport? You'll no longer have to sit in back-to-back traffic in a taxi. The REM will get you from the city center to the airport in just 20 minutes. And if you're a serial streamer or music listener, there's more good news: All 67km of the network is set to have Wi-Fi, so you'll actually have something to do while commuting!
The first departures are scheduled for 2021 in the South Shore. The rest of the network will gradually be put into service in 2022 and 2023, including the Montreal-Trudeau Airport connection.
In the meantime, the guys behind the new REM network have released three different design options for the upcoming trains, and they want Montrealers to voice their opinions on them. So without further ado, here are the three new, shiny models:
Design 1: Mount-Royal
Inspired by Montreal's own Mont-Royal, this design focuses entirely on being clean and green. Even its lights take inspiration from the wings of George Etienne-Cartier Monument, which sits at the entrance of Mont-Royal.
Design 2: L'Expo
This colourful model is a nod to Montreal's Expo 67 and the city's cultural dynamism. The train's headlights are inspired by the wings of an airplane (in reference to the upcoming airport connection) and the three shades of green are used throughout the REM network.
Design 3: Saint-Laurent
This design was inspired by the architecture of the new Champlain Bridge and the crossing of the St. Lawrence River. The green line on the side of the train represents the new bridge and the R printed over it symbolizes the REM that crosses it, connecting Montreal and the South Shore.
So what do you think? Would you rather be riding the Mont-Royal, the L'Expo, or the Saint-Laurent to work/school every day?