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CDPQ Infra withdraws from the REM extension on the South Shore

CDPQ Infra withdraws from the REM extension on the South Shore

Caisse de dépôt et Place du Québec's CDPQ Infra is withdrawing from the Réseau Express Métropolitain (REM) expansion project on the South Shore, a route along Taschereau Street that has been under consideration for several years.

“The project on the south shore will require the mobilization of teams that are not currently available,” Michele Lamarche, media director at CDPQ Infra, confirmed on Monday, noting in particular the importance of ensuring the reliability of the south shore antenna for REM and operation. It has been implemented for REM's other antennas that will be tested this spring.

The new study project in the capital, to replace the old version of the tramway, also had its weight in the balance, according to M.I Walking.

“In any case, working standards, such as city development plans and the economic context, have changed in recent years, and the studies carried out will have to be updated,” she added, confirming the information. First reported by Radio-Canada.

This is a major shift in this issue. On Monday morning, CPDQ Infra President and CEO Jean-Marc Arbault confirmed that the REM Rive-Sud project remains under development by CDPQ Infra. “We will hold a meeting soon with the government to evaluate the main criteria that have been considered regarding the corridors,” he said in an interview with host Patrick Masporian.

A decisive meeting on Friday

CDPQ Infra has been studying a mobility structuring project for Montreal's South Shore, along Taschereau Street, for three years. Mayor Fournier also showed signs of impatience in August, reiterating that she had been waiting for news from Caisse for a year and a half on the matter. According to initial plans, this east-west extension was supposed to connect to the existing REM network at the Panama Terminal in Broussard.

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Everything was decided last Friday, during a meeting at the end of which Longueuil, Broussard and Boucherville asked the Minister of Transport, Genevieve Guilbault, to remove the files from the hands of the deposit box. Mr. Arbo was present.

According to our information, there was no progress on the agenda at that time. The cities have denounced the “lack of cooperation” on the part of Caisse since the project began. Ultimately, it was the deposit box itself that withdrew from the project soon after.

The three mayors now hope the project will fall into the hands of a future transportation agency that will supposedly reduce delays and costs. Quebec hopes to introduce the bill that would create this agency next February, with the aim of adopting it in June, with the goal of establishing the agency by September.

The government is also happy with this desire from the cities, even if CDPQ Infra's exit from the project is not greeted with enthusiasm. On the island of Montreal, Journalism It also recently revealed that the government's plans for a streetcar line in eastern Montreal — which replaced the $36 billion REM de l'Est version — would be the agency's first project for the future.

A “priority” project for Quebec

In Minister Guilbault's office, the REM extension project in Longueuil was cautiously referred to as a “priority”.

It was noted: “We already share the desire of Mayor Fournier and Assaad to provide the South Shore with a public transportation infrastructure project.” We will continue to cooperate with our partners in this project. »

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The mayors of Longueuil and Brossard, Catherine Fournier and Doreen Assad, confirmed the news on Monday through a joint press release. “Last Friday we met with CDPQ Infra leaders to evaluate the planning of the project and indicated that its implementation should be entrusted to the future government entity that Minister Genevieve Guilbault and her team are currently developing,” they wrote.

“After the meeting, we formally asked the government to assign the task of the east-west structural connection of the South Coast to this new entity in order to accelerate its realization in consultation with the cities, including the first chef of Longueuil and Broussard. »

Regard The second setback on the same day for CDPQ Infra, which was called into order Monday morning by Quebec in connection with multiple outages that have affected REM in recent days.

“For a paradigm shift to occur, our public transport networks must work,” Minister Guilbault stressed. The problems encountered over the past six months must be taken seriously, and we must ensure that users are well informed. »