Montreal Mayor Gérald Tremblay said he has confidence in Aéroports de Montréal, the airport operator with plans for a $1.1 billion plan that would run on 40 kilometres of tracks, including CN and CP tracks, linking the airport to Central Station.
Central Station is connected to the métro, commuter trains, hotels and office towers, the mayor noted.
"The choice of Central Station is the result of a large consensus, by commuters, partners of the Montreal metropolitan community, the business community and the tourism industry," Tremblay said.
Within a few hours, the city's chamber of commerce and Montreal's transit agency added their support, too.
"It's important to make a decision now so we can quickly obtain the support of the federal government on this project, which is a priority," said Michel Leblanc, president of the Chamber of Commerce of Metropolitan Montreal.
Michel Labrecque, president of the board of the Société de transport de Montréal, said the Central Station option is superior because it is "a much more pertinent hub for commuters because it allows better integration of various modes of public transit... The station has direct access to both the Orange and Green lines of the métro and about 10 routes."
The city and its allies don't have the final say, but their support will likely add credence to the airport operator's plan, and factor into the final decision that will fall to the provincial and federal governments, major funders of the project.
The city's pick flies in the face of a 311-page PricewaterhouseCoopers study that said an alternative plan presented by commuter train operator Agence métropolitaine de transport would be cheaper and provide more transit options for West Island commuters. That $786 million plan would use 34 kilometres of CP tracks and end at Lucien L'Allier station, a few blocks west of Central Station. The AMT route would connect Lucien L'Allier station to transit hub for South shore buses that has yet to be built and estimated to add another $260 million to the tab.
In both of the scenarios studied, there would be two separate train services on the new tracks.
The Central Station route would attract more riders for both the airport train and the commuter train than the other route - 631,000 more people would use the airport shuttle annually and 381,000 more would ride the commuter rail, according to the study.
More details to come.
Read more: http://www.montrealgazette.com/business/City+prefers+Central+Station+terminal/3165804/story.html#ixzz0r8E93Df4