This Facebook page has been created to advocate for the extension of the Réseau express métropolitain (REM) line to Vaudreuil-Soulanges via the new Ile aux Tourtes bridge.
When the REM surface line to Ste. Anne de Bellevue is completed in 2023, the $6 billion, 26-station automated electric light rail transit (LRT) system will link Montreal, Laval, north and south shores — but not Vaudreuil-Soulanges, Quebec’s fastest growing MRC.
In December, the government announced that a replacement for the nearly 60-year-old Ile aux Tourtes bridge would be completed by 2030. Plans for the new bridge include dedicated bus lanes and separate corridors for cyclists and pedestrians — but no LRT corridor.
Already, proposed parking at West Island REM stations is being cut back. Autorité régionale de transport métropolitain (ARTM), the MMC’s overseer of public transit, favours active transport (walking, cycling) and local shuttlebus service.
Unless regional public transit agencies are prepared to keep operating the existing Vaudreuil-Hudson commuter rail line once the REM is in service, Vaudreuil-Soulanges and its 150,000+ residents will lose their only mass public transit link to Montreal.
Le REM dans/in Vaudreuil-Soulanges will work to raise awareness of the need to redraw plans for the Ile aux Tourtes replacement to include a REM right of way serving Vaudreuil-Soulanges and points west.
Without access to a high-speed mass public transit system:
– Vaudreuil-Soulanges enterprises, including the promised hospital, will struggle to attract labour. By its projected 2026 completion, the hospital will represent some 4,000 jobs;
– Vaudreuil-Soulanges residents will continue to be at the mercy of Montreal’s worsening traffic chaos and the eventuality of tolls;
– the Montreal Metropolitan Community will have missed the opportunity to significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the fight against climate change, a keystone of the MMC’s master plan.