- In a new report, the ARTM quietly removed references to the pink metro line that was the cornerstone of Mayor Plante's 2017 campaign.
- Instead, the organization responsible for transit initiatives in the metropolitan area will focus on studies on a number of exciting developments, including an orange line extension.
In a new metropolitan capital program published by the Autorité régionale de transport métropolitain (ARTM), Mayor Plante's proposed pink line appears to have been put on backburner. Now, the future of a pink metro line connecting Montréal-Nord and Lachine with a single ride is uncertain. As first reported by le Journal de Montréal, the term "Pink Line" has been quietly omitted from the ARTM's report and instead replaced by "un projet de décongestion de la ligne orange et de la station Berri-UQAM et de la progression de l’offre."
In English: "a project to decongest the orange line and Berri-UQAM station and to further develop the offer of service."
Instead, the ARTM documents establish a new focus on comprehensive studies and evaluations. These new initiatives will consider all aspects of public transportation in the city.
Of key interest to metro riders is a study that will explore the potential of an orange line extension from Côte-Vertu to Laval. The ARTM has, in fact, has already approved a preliminary evaluation to extend the line.
Montrealers who were waiting for the pink line are sure to be disappointed but not all is lost. Here are some of the key revelations from the ARTM's 2020-2029 Mobility Report.
Lachine To Downtown Tram Line
Even though the pink line as the mayor imagined it seems to have been tabled, the ARTM will study the viability of a Lachine to Downtown Montreal tram line.
If you recall, the Mayor announced that future the tram line received approval from the government of Quebec. The tram line will service the transit dead-zone between the boroughs of Lachine and Ville-Marie.
While there's not yet a start date or even an idea of how it will work, the ARTM guaranteed that a comprehensive study will be conducted on this potential rapid transit link.
An Exploratory Study To Extend The Orange Line
One of the best ways to relieve congestion on the orange line is by finally connecting the two branches in Laval. The ARTM has approved a study into the viability of this project.
Keep in mind that this doesn't mean that there will be an orange line extension, just that authorities will study the possibility of extending the orange line from Côte-Vertu to Laval.
The controversial Royalmount project, a mega-mall and mixed-use development in the Town of Mount Royal, has already raised interest in an orange line extension to at least Bois-Franc, where it will meet the Réseau Express Métropolitain (REM).
A Proposal To Add More Transit Options In Laval
The ARTM has identified a key issue on Laval's two major boulevards: the lack of reliable public transit options.
Boulevards des Laurentides and de la Concorde are apparently lacking and the transit authority will make an effort to explore how to make public transit better along these two major arteries.
Exploring The Potential For A Direct Access Line From Mascouche to Downtown
The ARTM proposed a study that will explore creating a direct line from Mascouche to Downtown Montreal once the REM is finished.
Even once the REM is built, North Shore residents will need to do a roundabout along the whole REM circuit to reach downtown. This proposal will aim to explore a remedy to that situation.
How Much Will This Cost?
An investment of $14.4 million will go towards these various studies. The ARTM's report also mentions that apart from these "big idea" projects, smaller studies to improve the city's public transit network will also receive funding.
The bad news is that there may be no heavy-rail pink line connecting the northern and southern ends of Montreal but there are plenty of studies and initiatives that could potentially reap great rewards.
West Island residents might be feeling left out (once again) but the REM will likely remedy the West Island's need for reliable public transit.
Until then, enjoy the 470, Westies.
Stay tuned for more updates regarding everything public transport-related right here on MTL Blog.