Commuting headaches coming with closure of Mount Royal tunnel during REM construction
Mitigation measures to be in place by January 2020
More buses, a train shuttle and rebates are among the measures announced Monday to help deal with the closure of the Mount Royal Tunnel next year.
The two-year closure will have a major impact on the route of users of the Deux-Montagnes and Mascouche train lines.
But officials say it's necessary to complete the $6.3-billion light-rail network (REM), which is slated to be fully up and running by 2023.
The mitigation measures, to be in place by Jan. 6, 2020, include:
- a rail shuttle between Deux-Montagnes and Bois-Franc.
- a bypass of Mount Royal, with three departures during the morning and evening rush hours on the Mascouche line to keep direct access to the central station.
- shuttle buses to the Metro's Orange, Green and Blue lines and an off-peak and weekend shuttle between Deux-Montagnes and the city centre.
- preferential measures for buses (priority lights, reserved lanes, highway shoulders).
- additional parking spaces at the Bois-de-Boulogne train station from the Saint-Jérôme train line.
To help ease the pain, users of the Deux-Montagnes line who have a monthly STM pass will be able to take the shuttle service between Deux-Montagnes and Bois-Franc for free, as well as in the shuttles bus service between Bois-Franc station and Côte-Vertu metro station.
They will also get the first four months free on the annual passes. Users of the Mascouche line can get a discount of up to 30 per cent.
Transport Minister Chantal Rouleau, who made the announcement Monday, said a special effort will be made to keep commuters informed about plans during the construction period.
In the longterm, though, she stressed the completion of the REM will make for an improved commute.