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Montréal Transit Developments

It's due to open this fall, save for one important intersection (where they're building the tunnel to link with the blue line extension). They've started work on a 1.5km extension south to Notre-Dame (where it will connect with REM B). The problem with the Pie-IX BRT project is that it was integrated with a much larger infrastructure project... They rebuilt the entire street, and that's what went overbudget and much much behind schedule. The mass transit portion of the work went smoothly actually. Stay tuned for similar BRT projects coming soon, on Parc and Henri-Bourassa.

As for Exo... There's a bit of unfair criticism here... pre-pandemic every line saw ridership increasing (with the obvious exception of the Deux-Montagnes line). They've improved greatly in the last decade, both in terms of frequencies and with the infrastructure. It's not GO though, that's for sure.

The real problem with Exo and the ARTM, and this is what the Gazette article is referencing, is that the government basically abandoned them in favour of the Caisse. ARTM was created in 2017 because there were issues with fare integration in the CMM (the Greater Montreal Area) and because there was a concerted wish for taking capital project planning out of the hands of politicians. The ARTM has been working on a 50 year plan (kinda like Translink) to drive planning in the region. When the PLQ government created the ARTM, they had them work with the Caisse, involving all parties in the discussions and they were trying to create a model where regional needs for transportation could be met with the involvement of private parties like the Caisse. In 2018 when the Legault government came to power, they stopped this collaboration. They stopped inviting ARTM to meetings and they didn't even tell them ahead of time when they announced REM B. The government even decided to take projects already being studied and announced (the LEEO project on the south shore), scrap them and ask the Caisse to study them instead...

I don't know much about Toronto, and I frankly don't think it's really worth comparing because everything is just so different, but I hope I could bring a bit more context and information regarding the situation in Montreal!
I understand it hasn't always been the case, but at the same time it doesn't stop the criticism from being the truth. What plans are there for Exo in terms of system expansion? The Mascouche Line is one of the most expensive Commuter Rail projects in North America, yet can't even get more than a few midday trains to run. Even now, with the closure of the Mont Royal tunnel, not only does Exo no longer have arguably its most important line, but now the Mascouche Line doesn't even reach downtown, requiring people to transfer in the middle of nowhere.

As for the two cities, they're honestly not that different. In fact we're sort of at a crossroads where the choices made today determine what the differences will start being in the near future.
 
I understand it hasn't always been the case, but at the same time it doesn't stop the criticism from being the truth. What plans are there for Exo in terms of system expansion? The Mascouche Line is one of the most expensive Commuter Rail projects in North America, yet can't even get more than a few midday trains to run. Even now, with the closure of the Mont Royal tunnel, not only does Exo no longer have arguably its most important line, but now the Mascouche Line doesn't even reach downtown, requiring people to transfer in the middle of nowhere.

As for the two cities, they're honestly not that different. In fact we're sort of at a crossroads where the choices made today determine what the differences will start being in the near future.

The Mascouche line has been proven to be the result of an elaborate system of collusion and corruption between construction companies and the Charest government that lasted for about a decade between 2003 and 2011. Everyone now agrees that this issue has been solved, and I don't think we'll see that kind of silly project on the table again.

As of today there aren't really any major expansion of the Exo network being considered... As I said earlier, the attention (and the available capital) is all given to CDPQi and the REM. Exo shouldn't be criticized for this... as it is way out of their hands. Plus the provincial government is working on highway expansion (A19, A13, A35, The Third Link) and putting HOV lanes everywhere (basically on all major highways in the CMM), so they don't seem to have any appetite for rail.

It's also not just an Exo issue. The STM has the same problems. That's why they're working on much more subtle things like Parc or Henri-Bourassa BRTs, because they're fully in Montréal territory and their value is low enough that it doesn't need to go through cabinet approval in Quebec City.
 
The Mascouche line has been proven to be the result of an elaborate system of collusion and corruption between construction companies and the Charest government that lasted for about a decade between 2003 and 2011. Everyone now agrees that this issue has been solved, and I don't think we'll see that kind of silly project on the table again.

As of today there aren't really any major expansion of the Exo network being considered... As I said earlier, the attention (and the available capital) is all given to CDPQi and the REM. Exo shouldn't be criticized for this... as it is way out of their hands. Plus the provincial government is working on highway expansion (A19, A13, A35, The Third Link) and putting HOV lanes everywhere (basically on all major highways in the CMM), so they don't seem to have any appetite for rail.

It's also not just an Exo issue. The STM has the same problems. That's why they're working on much more subtle things like Parc or Henri-Bourassa BRTs, because they're fully in Montréal territory and their value is low enough that it doesn't need to go through cabinet approval in Quebec City.
Just because its not their fault doesn't stop it from being an issue. I don't blame Exo for being crap, but that doesn't change the fact that they're crap. If you want to point the finger to the provincial government, point the finger to the provincial government, but that doesn't change the facts of the matter.
 
Just because its not their fault doesn't stop it from being an issue. I don't blame Exo for being crap, but that doesn't change the fact that they're crap. If you want to point the finger to the provincial government, point the finger to the provincial government, but that doesn't change the facts of the matter.
You were criticizing the service, and I gave you a reason why it is like that. I'm not defending it, I'm just giving some context so you can understand why things are what they are here.
 
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I understand it hasn't always been the case, but at the same time it doesn't stop the criticism from being the truth. What plans are there for Exo in terms of system expansion? The Mascouche Line is one of the most expensive Commuter Rail projects in North America, yet can't even get more than a few midday trains to run. Even now, with the closure of the Mont Royal tunnel, not only does Exo no longer have arguably its most important line, but now the Mascouche Line doesn't even reach downtown, requiring people to transfer in the middle of nowhere.

As for the two cities, they're honestly not that different. In fact we're sort of at a crossroads where the choices made today determine what the differences will start being in the near future.

The Mascouche Line currently does reach downtown though, it just uses a different route to get there.

1643752815993.png


You can see it on the current STM EXO map.

However I do believe its only at rush hour and only temporary. Personally I think it should be permanent, and this is also how Via Rail should get to Quebec with their HFR system.

I believe it goes through a CN rail yard however, and thats why its only temporary, they aren't to happy about it.
 
The Mascouche Line currently does reach downtown though, it just uses a different route to get there.

View attachment 377971

You can see it on the current STM EXO map.

However I do believe its only at rush hour and only temporary. Personally I think it should be permanent, and this is also how Via Rail should get to Quebec with their HFR system.

I believe it goes through a CN rail yard however, and thats why its only temporary, they aren't to happy about it.
There's reaching downtown, and then there's using a substantially longer route to get downtown than the previous route... Yes, REM will allow for nice, fast, frequent interchange - but it's still surprising that Montreal willingly gave up a quality electrified commuter rail tunnel (and the potential of HFR using said tunnel in future).

Agreed with lots of the above though - for all of REM and the Caisse issues/faults/hiding information from public, they actually are building a large network of high quality rapid transit. I just hope their desire to make income for their pension fund... doesn't result in poor quality network design and projects!
 
There's reaching downtown, and then there's using a substantially longer route to get downtown than the previous route... Yes, REM will allow for nice, fast, frequent interchange - but it's still surprising that Montreal willingly gave up a quality electrified commuter rail tunnel (and the potential of HFR using said tunnel in future).
The Saint-Jérôme line detours around the mountain too. The result is that most people get off the train at De la Concorde or Parc station. Just like most people get off at Sauvé on the Mascouche line, or at Côte-de-Liesse once REM is built.
 
The Mascouche Line currently does reach downtown though, it just uses a different route to get there.

View attachment 377971

You can see it on the current STM EXO map.

However I do believe its only at rush hour and only temporary. Personally I think it should be permanent, and this is also how Via Rail should get to Quebec with their HFR system.

I believe it goes through a CN rail yard however, and thats why its only temporary, they aren't to happy about it.
It is temporary. The plan is once the REM opens, it will extend to the new Cote-de-Liesse Station on the REM, where passengers can transfer to reach Gare Centrale. After that, all direct train service to Gare Centrale will be discontinued, and the only line serving Gare Centrale will be the Mt. St. Hillaire Line.
 
It is temporary. The plan is once the REM opens, it will extend to the new Cote-de-Liesse Station on the REM, where passengers can transfer to reach Gare Centrale. After that, all direct train service to Gare Centrale will be discontinued, and the only line serving Gare Centrale will be the Mt. St. Hillaire Line.

I know its temporary, I said it is. I'm just saying that it shouldn't be.
 
I know its temporary, I said it is. I'm just saying that it shouldn't be.
If it was permanent, they could add a stop near Du Collège metro station. That'd give access to Ville-Saint-Laurent and the western portion of the orange line.

There was a plan for that in the 90s when they were doing works on A-40.
 
If it was permanent, they could add a stop near Du Collège metro station. That'd give access to Ville-Saint-Laurent and the western portion of the orange line.

There was a plan for that in the 90s when they were doing works on A-40.
That would make sense. My recollection is that it was more than a plan, and they actually did this in the 1990s.

I wonder how the ridership was.

Gosh, 1990s! Doesn't seem that long ago. I suppose the Met is probably ready to be rebuilt yet again ...
 
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That would solve the problems, if they are to install them - though Canada Line doesn't have them.
It has (like all of SkyTrain) sensors to detect if someone enters the track area

I'm confused. You wouldn't want a system that could share rolling stock across different lines?
Not necessarily, different trains suit different services

Another issue, is that with their bias, they are trying to maximize revenue, and fail to be building a network, when opportunities arise.

If this was a public project, a connection from the station at Trudeau to the ATM station off Dorval circle would have a no-brainer. As would have extending the other new spur to Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue.
They are incentivized to have as high ridership as possible iirc, building a network is how to do that. The cost of the extension to the train station probably wasn't expected to drive substantial new ridership in the short term, which doesn't seem that surprising?
 
That would make sense. My recollection is that it was more than a plan, and they actually did this in the 1990s.

I wonder how the ridership was.

Gosh, 1990s! Doesn't seem that long ago. I suppose the Met is probably ready to be rebuilt yet again ...
You are right on everything here! I found this incredible 500 page bible on the history of Montréal's suburban rail network. Turns out they actually had two temporary commuter rail lines in the summer of 1990, one to Repentigny and the other to Saint-Isidore, while they were doing roadwork on the Met and the Mercier Bridge (in green):

1643844010494.png


RIdership is only mentioned once in this report, and it's qualitative: "Even though ridership was high, the lines closed at the end of the summer. The MTQ, however, noticed the success of both lines and decided to start looking into new commuter rail lines". In other words, it's an experiment that led directly to the creation of AMT and the new rail lines of the 90s-00s

Oh, and yes... right after the LH Lafontaine tunnel is refurbished, the Met is next.
 
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The Mascouche line not terminating downtown really isn't as big of a problem as some people think. There's this obsession with providing service to downtown, but downtown only makes a small portion of daily commutes, and most of it is already done by public transit. exo needs to move away from their suburban mindset and radial planning. With more frequent service, fare integration, and stations where people actually live instead of out of the way giant park-and-rides, the Mascouche line could easily be exo's most popular line, without even providing a direct downtown link.
 
The Mascouche line not terminating downtown really isn't as big of a problem as some people think. There's this obsession with providing service to downtown, but downtown only makes a small portion of daily commutes, and most of it is already done by public transit. exo needs to move away from their suburban mindset and radial planning. With more frequent service, fare integration, and stations where people actually live instead of out of the way giant park-and-rides, the Mascouche line could easily be exo's most popular line, without even providing a direct downtown link.
Even the well established Deux-Montagnes line still vastly has most people travelling downtown.

1644257729831.png
 

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