New REM Light Rail Launches in Montreal

The first day of public service on the Réseau Express Métropolitain (REM) light rail route was marred by a closure and delays.

1 minute read

August 1, 2023, 5:00 AM PDT

By James Brasuell @CasualBrasuell


A map of the Réseau Express Métropolitain where it cuts across the Montreal region.

Réseau Express Métropolitain / Réseau Express Métropolitain system map

After a weekend of fanfare and celebrations, the Réseau Express Métropolitain (REM) light-rail route opened to the public on Monday, July 30 in Montreal. The new automated, electric light-rail line will serve five stations between Brossard and downtown Montreal’s Central Station with plans for more.

The first day of public service had a major hiccup, however. “But a breakdown put a cramp in the first day the electric light-rail line took paying passengers across the Champlain Bridge,” according to an article by Jason Magder for the Montreal Gazette.

“The problem was caused by a switch that got stuck, so trains were not able to change tracks, REM spokesperson Jean-Vincent Lacroix said.” Magder also reports that three trains were stranded on the Champlain Bridge as service was delayed for 90 minutes. The system worked smoothly over the weekend—120,000 people used the new train route while operating for free over the weekend.

According to a separate article by Antoni Nerestant for the CBC News, the REM is the largest public transit investment in decades for the Montreal region.

“When it's complete, the network will feature 26 stations that span 67 kilometres and connect riders to Montreal's South Shore, the West Island, western Laval and the town of Deux-Montagnes,” explains Nerestant.  The first phase, which opened this week, covers the southern portion of the project.  

Monday, July 31, 2023 in Montreal Gazette

Aerial view of homes on beach in Maui, Hawaii

Hawaii Passes First Legislation Regulating Short-Term Rentals Statewide

The new law will give counties the power to limit number or short-term rentals and convert existing short-term rental units back into long-term residential housing.

May 13, 2024 - USA Today

Google office building in Virginia.

Virginia Data Centers Draining State’s Water Supply

Being the world’s largest data center hub is having a severe impact on local water resources.

May 9, 2024 - Grist

Entrance to a drive-through car wash at night with green 'Enter' sign.

Ohio Towns Move to Ban New Car Washes

City officials in northeast Ohio are putting limits on how many car wash facilities can open in their towns.

May 16, 2024 - News 5 Cleveland

Grand Coulee Dam in Washington state.

Northwest Power Demand Could Surge as Data Centers, Transportation Electrification Ramps Up

New estimates project a steady increase in electricity demand due to population growth, data centers, and the shift to electric power in homes, buildings, and transportation.

May 17 - Governing

Blurred traffic speeding by on freeway with Los Angeles skyline in background.

California Testing Per-Mile Gas Tax Alternatives

A summer pilot program will test the fairness and efficacy of collection mechanisms for mileage-based fee options.

May 17 - Newsweek

Close-up of 'Pay rent' note in red marker on day 1 of monthly calendar.

After Months of Decreases, Rents Nationwide Are Going Up

Average rents rose by $12 around the country so far this year.

May 17 - Smart Cities Dive

News from HUD User

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

Call for Speakers

Mpact Transit + Community

New Updates on PD&R Edge

HUD's Office of Policy Development and Research

Urban Design for Planners 1: Software Tools

This six-course series explores essential urban design concepts using open source software and equips planners with the tools they need to participate fully in the urban design process.

Planning for Universal Design

Learn the tools for implementing Universal Design in planning regulations.