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Montreal's Oft-Reviled REM de l'Est Project Is Getting Overhauled & Might Get Extended

It could go all the way to Laval.

Senior Editor
Renderings showing REM de l'Est stations and track in Montreal.

Renderings showing REM de l'Est stations and track in Montreal.

Courtesy of CDPQ Infra

Laval and the Lanaudière region might be getting their own REM de l'Est stations. The governments of Montreal and Quebec are taking over the project, a cousin to the already-under-construction Réseau express métropolitain light-rail network in the west, and have committed to making some changes to the original plan.

First, while CDPQ Infra, the entity that was initially behind the design of the REM de l'Est, had wanted trains to go as far boulevard Robert-Bourassa, Quebec and Montreal are scrapping plans for additional stations in the centre of the city.

Instead, the new project leadership team, which also includes the STM and regional transit authority, the ARTM, is going to focus on better connectivity between the REM de l'Est and existing metro stations.

The team also plans to redesign the section of the network that will traverse the Mercier-Est neighbourhood.

Finally, officials will explore the possibility of extending the REM de l'Est north from its current planned terminus in Montréal-Nord into Laval and east from Pointe-aux-Trembles into Lanaudière. The cities of Repentigny and L'Assomption are both in the southern part of the region.

In a press release, Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante said the new coalition of governments and public transit organizations leading the project is "taking the necessary steps to carry out the REM de l'Est in an exemplary manner, as requested by citizens and experts."

The beleaguered REM de l'Est has already undergone changes in light of some public opposition and even a negative review from the ARTM itself. In a February report, the regional transit authority warned the light-rail network wouldn't address the transportation needs of East End residents and instead pull riders away from the green line, which runs parallels to part of the proposed REM de l'Est path.

In March, CDPQ Infra released flashy new renderings promising emblematic station and track design to woo residents.

But it seems that effort wasn't enough to preserve the project as planned.

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