Montreal

Light-rail network to replace Montreal's 747 shuttle bus to airport, STM says

The shuttle bus that runs between downtown Montreal and the Trudeau Airport will stop running for most of the day once the city’s new light-rail network begins operations at the end of 2023.

REM will have 10 stops between Central Station and Trudeau Airport

Montreal's light-rail network will provide more reliable service than the 747 shuttle bus, which is sometimes stuck in traffic, says the chair of the STM board. (Navneet Pall/CBC)

The shuttle bus that runs between downtown Montreal and Trudeau Airport will stop running for most of the day once the city's new light-rail network is completed, possibly toward the end of 2023.

The $6.3-billion Réseau express métropolitain (REM) will have 26 stations along a 67-kilometre track that will run 20 hours a day. It will connect downtown with the West Island as well as the North and South shores.

The track also connects to the airport.

"The REM will allow you to arrive at the airport at a more precise time as the 747 is sometimes stuck in traffic," Philippe Schnobb, chair of Montreal's public transit agency's board, said during a public meeting earlier this month.

"But the 747 will continue to run when the REM is closed. If you arrive at the airport at two in the morning, you will have a transportation option."

The regional transit authority (ARTM) has signed a non-competition agreement with the REM that states the STM should only offer the shuttle service outside of the REM's operating hours, said STM spokesperson Isabelle Tremblay.

Réseau express métropolitain (REM) is slated to be completed at the end of 2023, connecting Montreal's North and South shores to the West Island and downtown. (Réseau express métropolitain)

The 747's new route and hours of operation have yet to be decided, Tremblay said. Either way, until the REM is up and running, she said the shuttle service will continue as usual.

The 747 bus was used by some 1.5 million users last year. It is regularly used not just by airline customers, but airport workers as well.

Travel between Berri-UQAM Metro and the airport takes 45 to 70 minutes with 11 stops, according to the agency's website. From Lionel-Goulx Metro, it is 25 to 35 minutes with a single stop.

Once the REM opens, there will be 10 stops between Central Station downtown and the airport.

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