Montreal, Quebec City to get new tramway systems
Montreal will get a tramway system linking the downtown area to the west-end borough of Lachine, Mayor Valérie Plante announced on Wednesday.
The mayor was all smiles, calling the tramway a first step to her proposed Pink line on the Montreal Metro and pointing out reporters wearing shades of pink at the press conference.
“The Pink line from downtown to Lachine was always supposed to be above ground,” she said.
“This was taken into consideration by the Quebec government. A big tramway in the west — wow.”
WATCH: Quebec agrees to explore solutions for overcrowded orange metro line
The government of Quebec has agreed to invest $800 million in public transit in Montreal. It had previously transferred that same amount of federal money to fund projects in Quebec City.
“The breakthrough was let’s agree on three principles: Quebec is ready, it needs to complete the financing, and we want the federal government to commit,” said Treasury Board president Christian Dubé.
“She [Plante] said: ‘OK, but what do you give me in return?'”
The Montreal mayor said her main concern remains addressing problems of overcrowding.
WATCH: Quebec’s transport minister takes a ride in the Metro
“Of course, today I want to celebrate. To us, it is the west side of the Pink line. Yes, today I’m definitely celebrating the Pink line,” said Plante.
“It’s OK if it changes eventually. I’m not giving up on the fact that there are needs because the Orange line is congested.”
Whether or not the project will be called the Pink line is yet to be determined.
“It’s not a question of colour, it’s a question of giving service to the people of Montreal,” said junior transport minister Chantal Rouleau.
Lachine Mayor Maja Vodanovic is ecstatic about the plan.
“It is a dream come true,” she said.
The borough had already started feasibility studies to come up with the best form of transportation for the area which is not linked to the metro line and is not part of the REM light rail stops.
Vodanovic says a tramway is better for Lachine than either the metro or the REM, since they don’t have to expropriate land, build underground or build train viaducts.
“Tramways around the world are known to build good quality living. They are accessible, no sound and you can walk to it,” said Vodonavic.
Officials were not able to say where the exact stations would be. As of yet, there is no timeline for the project.
The agreement will be part of the Quebec Infrastructure Plan for 2020 to 2030.
WATCH: A Pink line for Montreal’s Metro
— With files from Global News’ Elysia Bryan Baynes
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