REM seating and capacity and frequency – Montreal’s anticipated Réseau Électrique Métropolitain REM (LRT) system is well into its construction phase – and many are beginning to wonder what it will really be like for commuters. With 67 kilometres of double tracks, it will be one of the largest automated transportation systems in the world (after Singapore, Dubai and Vancouver) and the largest public transportation infrastructure since Montreal’s metro system was inaugurated in 1966. But will it really be able to handle the high volume of people expected to use the network?
What the REM train cars will look like
Although the REM train cars will be smaller in comparison to the MR-90 trains on the Deux-Montagnes line, it is estimated that 2.5 times more people will be able to board them during rush hour. How is this possible? They explain that even though there will be a reduction of about 15% in the number of seats, it will all be balanced out by the system’s high frequency, speed, quality of service and increased connections with the metro system. They also explain it with a comparison to the new metro cars on the STM network. Although the Azur cars contain 30% fewer seats than the previous MR-73 cars, they are designed to comfortably accommodate people standing up during the trip (which is not the case for MR-73 commuter trains).
REM seating and capacity and frequency
The REM’s frequency is expected to be every 2.5 minutes between Central Station and Du Ruisseau and every 5 minutes between Du Ruisseau and Deux-Montagnes – making it considerably faster than the Deux-Montagnes line. Therefore, the REM’s higher frequency will result in that many more seats being available. During the morning rush hour, the trains will also have the ability to accommodate up to 42,120 passengers with close to 7,000 seats (128 per car) available.
Still, as the trains gets closer to Central Station in downtown Montreal, some people will find themselves having to stand up, but the cars are designed to address the issue with poles, bars and larger spaces.
Commuters from Bois-Franc will have the possibility of boarding trains coming from the airport, at a frequency of one in four trains, which will have less people and therefore more space. In addition, should ridership numbers be more than expected, the frequency of the trains can be increased – without having to reconstruct the existing infrastructure. Check back with the Montreal Times as the project progresses and more information becomes available.