Plans to build the third-longest driverless light rail rapid transit system in the world in Montreal have been unveiled by Canadian pension fund Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (la Caisse).

To be built in partnership with Québec’s provincial government and the Canadian government, the 67-kilometre network will connect downtown Montréal, the South Shore, the West Island (Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue), the North Shore (Deux-Montagnes) and Montreal’s airport.

Trains will operate 20 hours a day, seven days a week across the network of 24 stations. Construction could begin as soon as next year and the system could be open by the end of 2020.

La Caisse estimates that the project will create around 7,500 jobs during its construction and an additional 1,000 when it opens.

The network, which has been named Réseau électrique métropolitain (REM), is being proposed by CDPQ Infra, a subsidiary of la Caisse.

La Caisse is willing to put in $3 billion to deliver the scheme, but will require an additional $1.5 billion from the provincial and federal governments for it to go ahead.

Announcing the plans, Michael Sabia, president and chief executive officer of la Caisse, said: “Today we are proposing an innovative public transit solution that will improve the quality of life in Montréal and deliver important economic, social and environmental benefits. It will improve the metropolitan region’s overall competitiveness.

He added: “The new transit system will also deliver long-term, stable investment returns very well aligned with the needs of our depositors, the people of Québec.”

A public consultation is now taking place.

 

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