4 Huge Montreal Transit Projects That Will Transform The City

Montreal is a city on the cusp of a huge transformation. With several large Montreal transit projects underway that will connect the city like never before, the future is looking bright for the metropolis.

As you probably know by now, we absolutely LOVE public transit news here at the Blog and since the metro hasn't flooded recently, we thought that you'd all enjoy a run-down of four huge transit projects currently taking shape. 

Editor's Choice: This Map Shows Montreal's Future Transit Network With All REM Lines & The Metro Extension

STM Blue Line Extension

STM

The blue line extension is a much-anticipated metro project that's set to be complete in 2026.

"Geotechnical" testing for the project began in summer 2019 and by the beginning of 2020, teams of architectures had been enlisted to design the stations.

There will be five new stations on the 5.8-kilometre extension route, which will run from Saint-Michel station to the Galeries d'Anjou.

Preparatory work on the project is currently ongoing. Construction is scheduled to begin in 2021.

The Réseau Express Métropolitain (REM) 

Alstom / C. Fleury courtesey of the REM

Perhaps even more hyped than the blue line extension, the REM is slowly beginning to take shape in the Montreal area.

The new 67-kilometre automated light-rail network will connect the South and North Shores, West Island and downtown.

As of January 2021, the first train cars are undergoing testing on tracks on the South Shore.

Construction has been chugging along, though the REM announced in November 2020 that an accidental explosion in the Mount Royal tunnel and the discovery of structural degradation in some tunnel walls will delay the completion of that segment by a year.

The first segment, between the South Shore and the Gare Centrale, is scheduled to open in 2022.

Branches to the North Shore, West Island and Montreal-Trudeau airport are projected to open between 2023 and 2024.

The REM will have breathtaking views, free wifi, A/C and heating, and enclosed station platforms.

The REM de l'Est

REM & CDPQ Infra

Announced at the end of 2020, the REM de l'Est will add 32 kilometres of rail and 23 new stations to Montreal's transit network.

It will be separate from the other REM system.

Beginning in downtown Montreal, the project will extend as far east as Pointe-Aux-Trembles and as far north as Cégep Marie-Victorin.

According to Jean-Marc Arbaud, managing director of CDPQ Infra, the REM de l'Est "will transform the nature of transit in Montreal’s east end with time savings of up to 70 percent while bringing neighbourhoods closer together and accelerating the revitalization of this vast territory with enormous potential."

There is currently no timeline for the project, but CDPQ Infra plans to hold public consultations in 2021.

Pie-IX Bus Rapid Transit Line (BRT)

STM

East End Montrealers are intimately familiar with the construction headaches of the Pie-IX Bus Rapid Transit line, but the results promise to be worth it.

The project will feature a 13-kilometre long reserved bus lane going in both directions smack dab in the middle of boulevard Pie-IX.

If all planned projects actually materialize, the BRT will connect to the REM de l'Est and the blue line along its extended route.

Set to be finished in 2023, the Pie-IX BRT will make north-south commuting a lot easier for residents of the East End and Laval.

Possible Future Projects

And that's not all, folks! There are more projects on the Montreal area's transit wishlist.

In 2019, for example, the Government of Quebec launched an office to study ways to expand transit in Longueuil, including a possible extension of the yellow metro line.

Also in 2019, Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante announced that the Quebec government had committed to constructing a tramway to link the western borough of Lachine with downtown long rue Notre-Dame.

In a December 2020 Instagram post, the mayor said that a project office for the tramway was forthcoming.

There has also been a big push for an extension of the orange line in the west to Bois-Franc station, where it would meet the REM.

The City of Montreal labelled this potential project a "priority" in a February 2020 report, citing massive development in the area and heavy vehicular traffic congestion.

However, there are no actual dates or consultations in the works for that extension right now.