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Quebec City tramway proposal gets failing grade from environmental review board

Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, right, shakes hand with Quebec City mayor Regis Labeaume after they announced a major investment for a tramway, Monday, August 19, 2019 in Quebec City.
Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, right, shakes hand with Quebec City mayor Regis Labeaume after they announced a major investment for a tramway, Monday, August 19, 2019 in Quebec City. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jacques Boissinot

The Quebec government should not authorize the Quebec City tramway project in its currently proposed form, the province’s environmental hearings review board (BAPE) said in a report released Monday.

The commissioners say that even though the tramway project would mark an improvement for the city’s public transport network, its capacity to respond optimally to mobility challenges in the province’s capital has not been demonstrated.

The report found the proposed tramway would not significantly improve transit for people in the suburbs, which are experiencing the strongest population growth.

READ MORE: Montreal, Quebec City to get new tramway systems

The BAPE estimates that after the installation of such a tramway, the proportion of citizens who would use public transport there would remain the same as before, which appears “modest” compared to the planned investments of $3.3 billion.

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The BAPE recommends looking at other options that could best meet the mobility challenges of the region, such as light-rail train or rapid bus service.

“For all of these reasons, the commission (…) therefore recommends that the project not be authorized as it is,” the report states.

Click to play video 'Federal government invests in Quebec City tramway project' Federal government invests in Quebec City tramway project
Federal government invests in Quebec City tramway project – Aug 19, 2019

With files from Global News’ Kalina Laframboise