Metro extension to Anjou, going the wrong way?
The Quebec government announced plans to extend the metro's blue line eastward to Anjou at a Montreal news conference today. While the government hopes the new stations will be up and running by 2020, there's no firm estimate on a completion date, or even when a shovel will finally go into the ground.
Transport minister Sylvain Gaudreault hinted the project could cost $250 to $300 million per kilometer — which means it could cost as much as $1.5 billion for the five new stations.
The government is setting up a project office, which will submit a report in two years. The report alone is expected to cost $40 million.
So why set up a project office, when more than 100 studies have been done already? "We have to know the details. We have to know what is underground...what kind of rock, for example," Gaudreault said.
The government also hinted that once construction on the blue line extension gets started, construction on an extension to the yellow line in Longueuil will follow soon after.
The announcement disappointed many west-enders and West Islanders, who have been hoping for future metro extensions west. That isn't on the government's radar.
"There are a lot of Anglos in the West Island," one man said. "As a general rule, we're kind of treated as secondary citizens."
"Anything that goes west is always neglected," one woman told CJAD news.
"They seem to expand to expand it in every direction except west," another transit user said. "But I can't complain about the 211 [bus]."
One west island bus user said it takes "forever" to get home, and that a metro would be a lot easier. "Even extending the green line to Dollard-des-Ormeaux..." another said.
"I'm not happy about it, but we have no choice."
But the government said it is not abandonning West Islanders.
"The Quebec government last spring, announced $40 million for the Turcot Interchange, there is going to be a new station in Lachine at Victoria, and new reserved lanes," said Nicolas Girard with the AMT. "We also have a committee, Mobilité de l'Ouest-de-l'Ile, we are going to be able to get recommendations to the Quebec government by the end of the year."
In an phone interview with CJAD, outgoing mayor of Pierrefonds, Monique Worth said it's clear that the Parti Quebecois has little motivation to invest in the West Island given its rather weak support in that area of the island.