Feds commit $1.28 billion for rail project

train track

MONTREAL – Prime Minister Justin Trudeau confirmed Thursday a $1.28-billion federal commitment toward a major Montreal rail project that will connect the city to its suburbs and to its international airport.

Trudeau made the announcement alongside Premier Philippe Couillard, Montreal Mayor Denis Coderre and Michael Sabia, head of the province’s public pension fund manager.

“The REM (Reseau electrique metropolitain) is one of the most ambitious public transportation projects in our history,” Trudeau said.

“In addition to making it quicker and easier for millions of Quebec residents to get around, the REM will reduce the number of cars on the roads, help ease traffic and make the air cleaner.”

The Quebec government and the Caisse de depot pension fund are also contributing to the $6-billion project.

In January 2015, Quebec and the Caisse announced the agreement to build the electric light-rail network.

The Quebec government had been calling on Ottawa to provide at least $1 billion toward the rail project.

Once completed, the 67-kilometre automated light rail network will include 27 stations and operate 20 hours a day, seven days a week. It will link Montreal’s downtown to Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport as well as the areas north, south and west of the city.