Welcome to Montreal and the South Shore, REM

Map of Montreal with REM stations marked Map of REM stations

Are you a public transit nerd? I have a fondness for public transit and an ongoing interest in its accessibility, speed, and affordability. But also I just like seeing where I can go using public transit. It’s an urban adventure that can lead to a new find, a new adventure, a new friend, or just several hours of waiting in some cases.

The arrival of the REM line is much anticipated — first watching the massive concrete elevations get built, then seeing the train whooshing along back and forth to the south shore. The only fly in the Chardonnay is the REM’s disruption of the Technoparc wetlands, and I care much more about the natural denizens of this very unique area… so I find it hard to feel fully excited about this new mode of transit and hope that the city, province, or country will preserve nature first.

At any rate, I promised my fellow public transit nerd friend that we would check out the new line together as soon as it opened. But the public launch date changed a few times, and our promise may have to be broken since he isn’t in town and I’m not going to miss the launch.

So some details about this launch:

July 28, is the live ceremony, which can be watched via link that has yet to be provided.

On July 29 – 30th, from 9 a.m. – 7 p.m., ride for free to the first five stations of the REM.  Visit the five stations: Brossard, Du Quartier, Panama, Île-des-Sœurs and Gare Centrale.  In addition PVM (Place Ville Marie) will have a party going on from 11 a.m. – 5 p.m. On July 31, the REM is officially commissioned, complete with bus routes. Most of the EXO buses will no longer cross the bridges, but instead will deliver their passengers to the REM. Also note that the stations have park-and-ride lots which have both free and paid parking, and the stations also are outfitted with bike racks.

So, a few things to note about the REM’s fare structure. Stations at Ile des Soeurs and Gare Centrale are part of Montreal’s A-zone of transit, the same one used by bus lines and the metro. So you can switch between all three types of transportation in a 120 minute period as long as you don’t ride backwards). However, if you’re heading from the A zone to Panama, Du Quartier, and Brossard (or vice versa), you’re entering the B zone and tickets are more expensive. Longueuil and Laval are two places on the metro that already have that A-B pricing in place. A special fare also exists if you are just going from Brossard to Central Station only without riding further into the A zone. Info on fares, can be found HERE.

When you enter the train, you will have to validate where you are heading to decide which fair is appropriate. The current train tickets and the OPUS card are still used.

The REM will run 20 hours a day, which basically means 5:30 a.m. until 1 a.m., more or less. Trains run every 3 minutes 45 seconds during peak hours and every 7 minutes 30 seconds off-peak. Stations will be universally accessible, which means that they should have elevators, dedicated drop off areas, screen doors for safe boarding, glare free lighting, guiding tiles and tactile paving, and obstacle free pathways. Spaces in the cars are reserved for wheelchairs, strollers, luggage, the elderly, people with disabilities or special needs for seating, and wider car doors for ease of entry and exit.

Free Wifi is available on board. Cars also have capacity indicators to let you know how busy the approaching car will be!

Can’t wait to use the REM to get to the airport? You’ll have to wait until 2027. Good thing for that 747 bus. Also, that Griffintown-Bernard-Landry station has yet to be built. All you condo dwellers along the canal will just have to keep on using that 35 bus for now.

For more information or to check out news and updates, check out the REM site HERE.

About Rachel Levine

Rachel Levine is the big cheese around here. Contact: Website | More Posts