Digest: Montreal REM light rail project unveils plans for $10 billion extension

News Wire Digest third section for Dec. 15: DC Metro service halted after FBI-involved shooting; Honolulu light rail project faces lawsuits involving major developer
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A map from a presentation on the new REM de l'Est project shows the routes of the 19.9-mile addition and other facts about the project.
CDPQ Infra

Tuesday midday rail news:

Montreal REM light rail plans C$10 billion, 19.9-mile addition
The proposed “REM de l’Est” addition to Montreal’s Reseau express metropolitain light rail system will be a $C10 billion, two-line addition to the system under construction, adding 19.9 miles and 23 stations to the 41.6-mile system already planned. This is according to a presentation by the infrastructure subsidiary of Caisse de depot et placement du Quebec, the pension fund which is developing and will operate the light rail system. The east addition will include a 4.3-mile underground segment on a line to Cegep Marie-Victorin, a vocational school in the borough of Montreal-Nord; a line to Pointe-aux-Trembles, in eastern Montreal, will be above ground. The presentation projects the additional lines will cut travel from Pointe-aux-Trembles to downtown to 25 miles from the current average of 40 to 80 minutes by car or 45 to 60 minutes by current public transit; the trip from Cegep Marie-Victorin will be cut from 40 to 75 minutes by car or 55 to 70 minutes by public transit to 30 minutes. MTL Blog reports Tuesday’s announcement of the project begins a public consultation period with the intention of submitting environmental review of the project in 2021. There is no timeframe for completion of the new project. The first portion of the original REM project is projected to begin operation in 2022, with the previously announced network complete by 2024.

DC Metro service resumes after FBI-involved shooting on train
Service has resumed on DC Metro’s Red Line after being suspended earlier today because of a shooting on a train involving an FBI agent. WTOP Radio reports the shooting occurred shortly before 7 a.m. on a train near the Medical Center station in Bethesda, Md. A gunshot wound victim was transported from the station to the hospital, according to a Metro spokeswoman. Metro police and the FBI are investigating the incident. Metro service was suspended until about 7:30 a.m., when it resumed, trains bypassed the Medical Center station until about 9:30 a.m.

Honolulu light rail could face legal battles with developer, whether or not line is completed
Honolulu’s troubled light rail project is facing legal battles with prominent developer Howard Hughes Corp. over the rail system — in one case, for land to finish the line, and in another, over possible damages if it isn’t completed. Honolulu Civil Beat reports city officials are pursuing a condemnation lawsuit against the company for land needed to finish the line, and that the developer could sue if the final 4 miles of the planned rail route aren’t built. The latter suit would reflect the fact the developer and its subsidiary, Victoria Ward Ltd., developed their mixed-use Ward Village based on plans for the rail line, and the assumption the line would increase property values. The condemnation suit is over 2 acres needed to complete one section of the elevated 20-mile, 21-station line; a trial is scheduled in March over the $100 million impasse.

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