Fall status update of the Deux-Montagnes line worksite
A back-to-school season punctuated with customers changing their habits
Sustained effort to minimize disruptions
Overview of the service mitigation measures for the 2020 phase of work will be presented before the Holiday season
A few weeks into the back-to-school season, the Autorité régionale de transport métropolitain (ARTM), the Réseau express métropolitain (REM) project office and exo met with media representatives to provide an update on the Deux-Montagnes line situation. It was also an opportunity to remind everyone of the major construction work required to build the REM, a new automated light metro network that will increase the capacity and flexibility of this transit corridor for decades to come.
A change in habits
The situation that Deux-Montagnes and Mascouche users are facing is very complex and has already required a great deal of adapting while the new light metro network is under construction in the same rail corridor as the current service. With it also comes challenges faced by partners and users alike. Service on the Deux-Montagnes line will be maintained as long as possible in an effort to minimize the impacts this type of transformation generates.
That’s why, in a context where the status quo was no longer an option and as the back-to-school season approached, a joint communication campaign was launched to inform users and encourage them to try different public transit alternatives offered at each station.
Now, a few weeks into the back-to-school season, the initial scenarios where it was feared that station overflow would affect hundreds of users each day as a result of four departures on weekday being eliminated have not materialized. That being said, the situation on the Deux-Montagnes line remains under close scrutiny.
An ongoing information campaign
The partners’ collective goal remains to assist users through this transition period and to encourage users who can – primarily those on Montréal Island – to opt for alternatives during peak periods. Thus, communication efforts employed most specifically target Bois-Franc, Du Ruisseau, Montpellier, Mont-Royal and Canora Station users, since these stations have the most readily available options.
Since the start of the summer, an incentive in the form of a 10-trip “Trial TRAM” pass was distributed in Montréal stations; staff teams were also present to assist customers and inform them of the various public transit alternatives available.
In the coming weeks, the communication campaign that was launched will continue to keep users abreast of the situation, to inform them of options that were not previously envisioned, and to assist those who have the option of re-thinking their travel habits.
Sustained effort to minimize disruptions and delays
Maintaining a regular train service within the context of a construction project of this magnitude is a daily challenge. The partners, along with operational teams, are mobilized in this highly complex context to provide high-quality, consistent service and to minimize the causes and lengths of delays that occur. To achieve this, the MR-90 railcar upgrades continue to progress; work is scheduled for completion before winter.
Overview of the new measures that will be presented before the Holiday season
The next phase of REM work on the Deux-Montagnes line will require suspension of service between the Du Ruisseau Station and Gare Centrale for an approximative 24-month period, beginning in early 2020. Despite the partners’ desire to keep service running as long as possible, suspension of train services in early 2020 is inevitable. In fact, the magnitude of the work needed to re-open this segment by 2022 makes it absolutely necessary.
In order to implement the most effective alternatives for our customers by 2020, the transit partners, under the coordination of ARTM, are in the process of identifying and analyzing numerous public transit scenarios and solutions.
An initial top-level overview and major principles of the alternatives for 2020 has to be presented sometime before the coming Holiday season.
A brainstorming forum will be organized in the fall of 2018 with numerous contributors from civil society, in an effort to identify other solutions other than public transit. Various discussion activities with users will continue, in collaboration with Trajectoire Québec.
Service mitigation measures already in place
As a reminder, the main options proposed for the targeted stations are as follows:
- For all stations: Choose departure times before or after peak periods (avoid trains 926, 928 and 930 in the morning and trains 943, 945, 947 and 949 in the evening). Analyses have shown that there is still some capacity remaining on certain trains before and after peak times.
- Bois-Franc, Du Ruisseau and Montpellier stations: We recommend the Côte-Vertu bus and metro. Specific lines are recommended in a special brochure distributed in stations.
- Canora and Mont-Royal stations: Use the Mascouche line – four arrivals in the morning and four arrivals at night.
- Weekend service: In addition to local services, use STM’s train-bus line 968, which links the Sunnybrooke and Roxboro-Pierrefonds stations to the Côte-Vertu Station. This line is already accommodating an average of a few thousand users. Exo's shuttle 400 for the Laval and Deux-Montagnes stations has also helped to maintain service toward the Montmorency metro.
Lastly, a fare mitigation measure of up to a 30% discount for yearly and monthly TRAM and TRAIN passes was also offered to Deux-Montagnes line users. To date, more than 14,500 customers have taken advantage of it.
The Réseau express métropolitain (REM) is a new, 67-km integrated public transit network that will feature 26 stations and link downtown Montreal, universities, South Shore, West Island, North Shore and Montréal Trudeau airport through a fully automated, electric light rail system. Offering high-frequency service, the REM will be in service seven days per week, 20 hours per day, and will be connected to three main Montréal metro lines.
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