A bit of good news for commuters on the Deux-Montagnes and Maschouche exo train lines.
Additional mitigation measures have been put in place to ease disruptions to train service due to construction of Montreal’s light rail network known as the REM.
Work on the REM will require the closure of the Mount Royal tunnel in 2020, meaning trains will no longer bring people downtown, affecting commuters on both the Deux Montagnes and Mascouche lines.
In September, a $192-million mitigation plan was announced by the Québec government, Autorité régionale de transport métropolitain (ARTM), Mobilité Montréal and the transit authorities. It included shuttles to bypass the construction zone, new infrastructure to accommodate the new services and fare adjustments.
Following public outcry over what commuters felt were inadequate solutions, additional measures were announced Friday.
“It was asked by the citizens, so we are offering this new solution for them,” said junior transport minister Chantal Rouleau.
For the Mascouche line, three trains will bring commuters all the way to Central Station during the morning and evening rush hours. The trains will bypass the Mount Royal tunnel by using rail tracks belonging to CN and normally reserved for freight trains. During rush hour, the commuter trains will be given priority.
For West Island commuters, the number of shuttle buses outside rush hour will jump from 23 to 44 between Deux-Montagnes and downtown Montreal. Transit authorities say it will mean a direct trip for travellers at the Deux-Montagnes and Grand-Moulin stations to the downtown terminus on the 404 shuttle bus.
Also, a new shuttle bus route will allow commuters to make their way from the Deux-Montagnes train station to the Sainte-Thérèse train station on the exo Saint-Jérôme line. Transit authorities say the Saint-Jérôme line is popular with university students and employees of Sainte-Justine Hospital because the metro’s blue line is easily accessible from the Parc train station.
The new measures will come into effect Jan. 6, 2020.