Montreal can't afford a tram alone
It has been spoken about for years, but could it more than just a dream for Montreal?
The Board of Trade of Metropolitan Montreal has released its report into the viability and cost of a tramway in the city. The conclusion is that Montreal taxpayers cannot take on the cost of such a major project alone.
Michel Leblanc, president of the Board of Trade, says it would take the financial aid from both the provincial and federal governments to significantly reduce the cost for Montrealers.
"At this moment, public finance tells us that the city does not have this kind of money set aside," he told reporters in Old Montreal.
The report was based on a 13 km tram line that would run along Cote-des-Neiges, loop around downtown, and even touch Griffintown. The cost of such a project is estimated to be about one billion dollars.
The report looked at three possible funding scenarios. The first is if Montreal had to pay for the project alone, the second if it would get help from the province, and lastly if it would receive aid from both the provincial and federal levels.
Richard Deschamps, vice-president of Montreal's executive committee says it is clear we cannot take on this project ourselves.
"Montreal can't assume by itself all the costs associated with the tramway," he says.
Deschamps says the report will be looked at very closely, and the tramway will be debated at city hall. As for when Montrealers could see a tramway in their city, Deschamps does not give a precise timeline.
"We would like to have it as soon as possible, as long as we can find ways to finance it."