Release of the management and implementation agreement and of the integration agreement for the Réseau express métropolitain
Out of concern for transparency, the Québec government, the Autorité régionale de transport métropolitain (ARTM) and CDPQ Infra are making public the REM management and implementation agreement, as well as the integration agreement. These agreements, informed by a metropolitan vision of the organization of public transit:
- specify each partner’s role in implementing and managing the REM;
- ensure the optimal integration of the REM into the public transit networks of the metropolitan region;
- establish predictable payment mechanisms based on actual traffic.
These agreements delineate and provide a framework for the various aspects related to implementing, operating and integrating the REM into the metropolitan public transit network. The REM is the largest public transit project of the past 50 years. It includes 26 stations and 67 km of track.
Management and implementation agreement between the Québec government, CDPQ Infra and the REM
The management and implementation agreement aims to establish all the conditions required for a speedy implementation to benefit citizens. It also ensures the long-term funding and management of the REM. This agreement defines the roles of each partner in implementing and managing the REM:
- Projetco, the limited partnership created by CDPQ Infra that is responsible for implementing and managing the REM, assumes all risks for the construction and operation of the project, including the design and construction risks, the operating risk including traffic, and the risk related to the purchase price of the required land holdings.
- The Québec government assumes the risks related to the delivery of land holdings, including the delivery of environmental permits based on the agreed terms.
- The ARTM plans and fosters the integration of the REM with the various modes of transportation and increases corridor efficiency. It establishes the public transit services in its territory in response to the needs of users, through the services of public transit authorities, based on agreements signed with them.
While it is understood that all the partners are committed to the REM over the long term, as shown by the initial 99-year term of the agreement, and CDPQ Infra is not considering any sales scenario, the agreement provides mechanisms to keep the REM public, by guaranteeing the Québec government an option to purchase and a right of first offer.
In addition, the REM is an infrastructure asset for CDPQ Infra, and its characteristics are well aligned with the needs of its depositors. The project is part of a long-term vision of the ownership and operation of the network.
Equipment and service integration agreement between the ARTM and the REM
The REM integration agreement is part of the agreements to be deployed by the ARTM. They address the complementarity and optimal integration of the REM into existing public transit networks in the territory as part of a global vision of metropolitan transportation. The integration agreement describes and provides for the level of service offered by the REM, as well as the parameters for integrating the REM into the ARTM service rate structure.
To maximize the REM’s service potential by complementing other transportation services in the territory, the creation of non-compete and feeder zones were set out in the agreement.
The non-compete zone mechanism essentially follows the principles of “territory” historically used in the Act respecting public transit authorities and the Act respecting the réseau de transport métropolitain to define the sectors served by the various operators, including the Société de transport de Montréal, the Réseau de transport de Longueuil and the Société de transport de Laval. It aims to delineate, based on certain terms, the creation of public transit services parallel to those offered by the REM. More specifically, this deals with transportation between certain service zones and downtown.
These non-compete zones in no way limit the development of public transportation projects elsewhere in the territory, or the continued operation and development of the metro, commuter train and express bus networks in their current service areas.
Similarly, feeder zones are used to prevent doubling up public transit services in areas served by the REM and to optimize resources dedicated to operating bus services. Establishing zones in which bus services must feed clients to the REM does not mean that clients must be exclusively directed to REM stations, but that the stations must be served in a manner that is equivalent to other comparable modes of transportation.
In this agreement, the ARTM and CDPQ Infra have confirmed their desire to work together to develop a strategic plan that takes into account the mobility needs of people and goods, as well as their long-term strategic directions and mutual needs, such as integrating and coordinating the REM’s schedules with bus services.
Periodic review of the agreement is provided every 5 years, and could include modifying the non-compete and feeder zones, and updating the REM’s transportation service offering. This mechanism allows for technological, demographic and administrative changes to be taken into account over time.
The REM integration agreement is one of five service agreements between the ARTM and each public transit organization (REM, RTL, RTM, STL and STM) in Greater Montréal. The purpose of these agreements is to establish the service offering and ensure complementarity and full integration from a service user perspective.
Financial terms and conditions of the integration agreement
The agreement’s financial terms and conditions reiterate how important it is for the rates applied to the REM to be standardized and comparable to other modes of public transit with similar features.
The payment mechanisms between the REM and the ARTM are also defined so as to ensure service cost predictability. The agreement also confirms the base cost of $0.72 per passenger-km published by CDPQ more than a year ago. This cost will be indexed annually based on a mechanism related to Canada’s Consumer Price Index (CPI). A mechanism for capping contributions by the ARTM (per passenger-km), which is included in the agreement, will help limit the service cost based on the REM’s actual traffic. According to the models developed, regardless of the traffic observed over time, the total additional annual costs for the cities will be limited to some $45 to $60 million in today’s dollars. Of that amount, the distribution of municipal contributions related to REM services will be managed by the ARTM, in accordance with the terms and conditions established in the future service funding policy, which is planned for the REM’s commissioning.
The management and implementation agreement, which includes the integration agreement, is available for consultation on the REM website, on the “Documentation” page.
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