Valérie Plante is not afraid of a repeat in the same film as in Quebec, even if it is a tram that will ultimately be recommended to the Legault government as a replacement for the REM de l'Est for 36 billion. “No matter the method,” the elected official added, we must now advance the development of the metropolis.
Published at 12:34 p.m.
“The answer is no, to the extent that Mr. Legault committed just before Christmas […] by saying that it is a wish that there is a structuring means of transport in the East,” replied the mayor of Montreal, as we compared her situation with that of the mayor of Quebec, Bruno Marchand.
The latter saw its tram project come back on track at the end of 2023, after years of debates and when the preparatory work had already begun, by entrusting it to CDPQ Infra.
On Friday, La Presse revealed that it is a tram that will ultimately be recommended to the Legault government as a replacement for the REM de l'Est, and not the 36 billion metro route proposed last summer . According to our sources, this change would reduce the total cost estimated at around 13 billion.
The planned tram would have 31 kilometers of tracks and 28 stations, an average of 1.1 kilometers apart. A report from the Regional Metropolitan Transport Authority (ARTM) detailing this new proposal will be submitted to the government in late January or early February.
However, Ms Plante maintains: the tram remains a slower means of transport. “CDPQ Infra was still elected by the government and said: “We are building an elevated railway because the tram is too slow.” I rely mainly on what the experts have said. »
However, the mayor now says she wants to focus on speeding up the process for the benefit of citizens. “No matter what way, if we want to have campuses, if we want to develop housing, if we want to have green spaces, we need public transportation. […] Regardless of the means of transport, it must be efficient and fast,” she emphasized.
While remaining cautious, Ms. Plante recalled that the decision rests with Transport Minister Geneviève Guilbault. “It is also up to her to first comment on the objectivity, as she holds the report in her hands. »
However, we in the Minister's Office are currently being rather stingy with comments, which suggests that we want to take the time to carefully analyze the ARTM report before moving forward.
Environmental “lack of will”
At Trajectoire Québec, General Manager Sarah V. Doyon hopes, above all, that this new tram idea is not just an “experimental balloon”. “That's what's a little discouraging for all of us in transport these days: there's a lack of will to actually put projects into action. “We have to move forward,” she said.
“If it falls within the price range that elected officials are willing to approve, then let's try it, but let's not delay it for another 10 or 20 years.” “We need to provide the East with a structuring project, it's urgent,” insists Ms. Doyon.
However, it also recognizes that the tram “will inevitably be slower than an air or subway mode”. “But if the route makes it possible to reach several travel generators in the east, it remains very interesting. And above all, it would be a shame not to have anything to get to the city center efficiently,” concludes the DG, saying above all that he is excited about further developments.
With Philippe Teisceira Lessard