The Quebec government announced Monday that it wants Quebec’s pension fund manager, the Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, to explore the possibility of extending the light rail electric train network — the Réseau express metropolitain (REM) — to a much larger area.
The government wants the Caisse to consider expanding the network north to Laval, south as far as St-Jean-sur-Richelieu and east toward Highway 25.
“Now, we’re mobilizing our team, our experts,” Macky Tall, of the Caisse told Global News.
Saint-Laurent Borough Mayor Alan DeSousa also plans to submit a motion next week calling for the REM to extend its network in Dorval from the Trudeau Airport to the VIA Rail train station, with links to the exo Dorval commuter train station and the Société de transport de Montréal (STM) bus terminal.
A tunnel linking the airport to the VIA Rail station would stretch 700 metres and could vastly improve mass transit in the area, Desousa says.
“It would make logical sense to have an inter-modal access right there,” DeSousa told Global News.
WATCH: What the REM trains will look like
The federal government has commissioned an independent study to consider extending the REM in Dorval.
While the Caisse is on board with the study, it says it’s not endorsing the extension idea for now.
“It’s an interesting idea and we’re open to working and looking at it eventually, but again, we don’t set that priority,” Tall said.
Montreal Mayor Valérie Plante said she would support the plan, depending on its affordability.
“If there is a possibility with the government of Quebec and government of Canada to find the financial resources, of course it would be a great idea,” Plante, said.
DeSousa will submit his motion at the next Montreal city council meeting on May 13.