The Great REM Deception

Someone asked me recently what I thought about the Montreal region’s latest super-project, the Réseau express métropolitain (REM). I gave my thoughts unfiltered, and thought I’d share them with the world at large:

  • The sale of the Mont-Royal tunnel:
    • As a public asset into private hands for pittance.
    • The REM refusing to allow existing commuter trains to run through the tunnel to downtown (see my recent blog post for some discussion of the impact).
    • Future transit projects, such as a new link from Montreal to Quebec City, can’t now go ahead without building a new tunnel.
  • The non-competitive clause, preventing any alternative transit between REM stations and Downtown.
  • Possible gagging of city councillors over the project, as well as general hostility to any critique of the project.
  • The fact that this project will increase suburban sprawl, whilst the densest parts of the city remain underserved.
  • The secrecy surrounding the project’s impact, and the fact that most concerns were ignored in order to get the project pushed through.
  • Various Environmental concerns which weren’t taken seriously.
  • Apparently, a law was put in place to prevent the line changing hands for 100 years, no matter how badly it’s run.
  • Not enough parking, so combined with the termination of existing transit to Downtown, there could be an uptick in driving as a result.

I’m still angry about this project, and I don’t understand why the rest of Montreal isn’t. We’re all being treated like fools.

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