The administration of Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante released on Wednesday a document outlining plans for an STM orange line extension to the current exo commuter train station of Bois-Franc in the borough of St-Laurent. In the coming years, the site will transform into a stop along the new Réseau Express Métropolitain (REM), a rapid transit light-rail network that will connect the South and North Shores, West Island, airport, and downtown with a service that REM Communications Director told MTL Blog will rival that of the metro.
The extension of the orange line to Bois-Franc with a proposed in-fill station called Poirier will enable riders on all three REM lines to connect to the metro west of downtown. Currently, plans call for the light-rail network to meet the orange line only at Bonaventure station.
The connection will also allow residents along the western branch of the orange line to more easily access the airport.
In its document, the administration says that the "absence of a connection" between the metro after Côte-Vertu and the REM "will considerably reduce the attraction of public transport in the sector."
If the status quo persists, it contends, "the already low-functional highway network will be even more overloaded and traffic conditions will continue to degrade at the risk of becoming critical" while "the level of saturation at Côte-Vertu and Du Collège stations continues to multiply."
And as the autoroute Décarie, the eastern branch of the orange line, and Côte-Vertu bus station reach capacity, Namur and De la Savane station on the western branch "are among the least busy in the network."
The Bois-Franc extension would, therefore, more efficiently organize commuting routes.
A longer line would additionally link the metro and REM to nearby commercial and industrial centres, like the massive forthcoming Royalmount mall and housing development.