Laval among cities hoping Quebec will build new REM route across their territory

Proposed route could open eastern Laval up to massive development

The mayors of Laval, Terrebonne, Mascouche, Repentigny and Montreal-East hope to persuade the Quebec transport ministry to support a proposed new rapid transit rail line route that would pass from Repentigny through Montreal-East and Laval to Terrebonne and Mascouche on the North Shore, triggering economic development across their territories.

From the left, Mascouche mayor Guillaume Tremblay, Montreal-East mayor Anne St-Laurent, Repentigny mayor Nicolas Dufour, Terrebonne mayor Mathieu Traversy and Laval mayor Stéphane Boyer at Monday’s press conference when they announced their collective effort. (Photo: Martin C. Barry, Laval News)

Former REM de l’Est

The former REM de l’Est, which was renamed Projet structurant de l’est (PSE) after being sent back to the drawing board following extensive public criticism, is being managed in its initial planning stages by the Autorité régionale de transport métropolitain (ARTM).

Laval mayor Stéphane Boyer and the four other mayors agree unanimously on the overall merits of the PSE project. The transport ministry issued a preliminary progress report in January, although no firm decisions have yet been taken about the route the PSE will eventually follow.

Route is under study

Before issuing more definitive recommendations in June, the transport ministry is analyzing the situation and in the meantime is recommending that options be studied for PSE extensions northward to Rivière-des-Prairies, Laval and Lanaudière.

Some initial route proposals for the project, which was originally managed by CDPQ Infra, are being retained in the revised version, which the mayors say they support in principle. A good deal of the interest being expressed by the five cities stems from the economic stimulus that each is almost certain to receive should the route pass across their territory.

Key to economic development

“Today we are extending our hand to the government of Quebec and the ARTM by unanimously endorsing one of their proposals,” Boyer said during a press conference held last Monday at Laval’s interim city hall on Saint-Martin Blvd.

‘We feel certain that it is this route that will facilitate a better economic development on our territories’

Mayor Stéphane Boyer

“We feel certain that it is this route that will facilitate a better economic development on our territories and optimal mobility to the betterment of our citizens today and tomorrow,” he added, while noting that the proposed route would pass through Laval’s eastern territory, which remains largely undeveloped compared to the west.

Would spur growth, say mayors

In a statement the five mayors issued on Monday, they said they were inviting the ARTM and the provincial transport ministry to pursue their analysis, while focusing on the recommendation in January to follow a route from Repentigny through Montreal, Laval and onto the North Shore.

“Such a transportation project would not only facilitate providing service to the population of the east of Montreal, the east of Laval and the north-east shore, meaning more than 500,000 people, but also would consolidate and support the economic and demographic growth of the east end of the Montreal Metropolitan Community (CMM),” the mayors said in their statement.