One of North America’s largest public transportation projects, The Réseau Express Métropolitian (REM) officially launched construction Thursday with a symbolic ground-breaking ceremony .
Shovels in hand, representatives from the provincial and federal government including Premier Philippe Couillard and federal Transport Minister Marc Garneau were on site in Montreal’s Peel basin.
Although no actual ground was broken at the future Griffintown station, CDPQ president Michael Sabia says that Montrealers, “will see pretty substantial progress happening month by month,” in the area.
“This is no longer something on a piece of paper, this is real, this is happening and this will transform Montreal,” Sabia said.
A $2.8-billion contract was rewarded to a three-party consortium led by french company Alstom. The consortium which consists of Groupe des Partenaires pour la Mobilité des Montrealais (PMM) and SNC Lavalin has signed with the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec ( CDPQ) to deliver complete automatic and driverless light-rail cars.
More than 200 Alstom metropolis metro cars will be supplied by Groupe PMM which would be 106 two-car trains.
The consortium will also provide the signalling as well as the operation and maintenance services for the REM.
The consortium, promises that 67 per cent of the $ 2.8-billion contract investment will be made in Quebec.
Twenty-six stations will be plotted along the 67-kilometre rail system that will connect downtown Montreal to the South Shore, the North Shore, the West Island and Pierre Elliott Trudeau International airport.
Groupe PMM has signed on to provide maintenance for a 30-year period on the REM systems.
The light-rail project will cost $6.3 billion — $300 million more than the original price tag — and is expected to be ready by the summer of 2021.
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