Firmly convinced of the need for the Eastern REM to efficiently connect the East and Northeast of Montréal to the downtown core, Projet Montréal will ensure that the project is well integrated into Montréal's built environment, supported by the population. The leader of Projet Montréal, Valérie Plante, and the outgoing mayor of Mercier-Hochelaga-Maisonneuve, Pierre Lessard-Blais, have proposed that the city play a direct role in the further development of the project in order to continue improving it and ensuring public support.
Projet Montréal is proposing that the urban development around this major public transit project be integrated directly into the CDPQ-Infra project. To do this, a Projet Montréal administration is ready to contribute $500 million to the Eastern REM project. This model, similar to that of the Quebec City tramway, makes it possible to view this major project as a complete urban development, not just as a transportation project.
Projet Montréal also highlighted the improvements made to the project since its presentation in December 2020, including a first underground section in downtown and an underground section all the way to Montréal-Nord, and proposed additional improvements to make it a success.
By integrating urban planning into the project, and by investing $500 million, Projet Montréal will substantially improve the overall plan, including
Ensuring exemplary urban integration in the downtown area to guarantee the harmonious integration of the Eastern REM with the built environment and institutions of the eastern part of downtown. As the challenges of implementing an overhead structure are significant, Projet Montréal reiterates the importance of also evaluating the underground option. A tunnel layout would also optimize the development potential of the Downtown Eastside;
By modifying the REM integration scenario on Sherbrooke Street East to favor an underground option and/or an alternative route, which, in addition to guaranteeing better urban integration, will allow for future development opportunities, such as a connection with the Radisson station and the sector's PPU;
By linking its work with that of the Notre-Dame project office, in order to ensure exemplary urban integration with the built heritage of Hochelaga-Maisonneuve and the protection of Morgan Park, in addition to contributing to the reduction of noise and vibrations from Notre-Dame Street;
By integrating the Sherbrooke Street East development project in Pointe-aux-Trembles, including underground infrastructure and sidewalks. In addition, Projet Montréal reiterates its desire to see the tunnel that will bring the REM to Montréal-Nord be extended to Rivière-des-Prairies in order to serve this part of the borough, where public transit services are still limited.
It is important to remember that Projet Montréal has stated from the start the winning conditions for the success of the Eastern REM, including the exemplary urban integration and social acceptability of the project, as well as the creation of an advisory committee whose current work is essential. On the other hand, Ensemble Montréal has spoken out against these consensuses on several occasions.
"The Eastern REM is a major project for Montréal and it must see the light of day. However, its impacts on the built environment and the population will be significant and it is our duty to find the right solutions and to equip ourselves with the means to implement them. The project has already evolved, with the addition of a tunnel section in downtown and Montréal-Nord, for example. We must continue to work on improving the concept so that the Eastern REM meets the expectations of Montrealers. By playing a direct role for the city, Projet Montréal will help make the Eastern REM an exemplary project that will propel the development of Montreal's East End." - Valérie Plante, leader of Projet Montréal
"The arrival of the Eastern REM in Mercier-Hochelaga-Maisonneuve has raised important concerns among the population. We must take them into account and do everything we can to limit certain impacts of this major project. Today, we demonstrate that Projet Montréal has heard the concerns, and will directly improve the project to meet the expectations of our citizens. We are proud to propose solutions that will ensure a harmonious integration of this major transportation infrastructure with the heritage and living environments." - Pierre Lessard-Blais, outgoing Mayor of Mercier-Hochelaga-Maisonneuve