STM introduces occupancy levels for métro network customers

In another move designed to facilitate its customers' trips during the pandemic, the Société de transport de Montréal (STM) is giving customers the ability to check the occupancy levels of its AZUR trains on the Orange line. The information will be displayed on the Métrovision screens located on station platforms on the Orange line, the métro's busiest line, starting today.

"This initiative was put forward in collaboration with Astral Média, our partner responsible for the Métrovision screens. The goal is to improve the customer experience on public transportation. Having access to this information is more pertinent than ever, as public health authorities are constantly reminding us to keep our distance as much as possible," said Philippe Schnobb, Chairman of the STM Board of Directors. Additionally, all Métrovision banners in the network now have an updated interface and a new weather icon.

"I'd like to take this opportunity to highlight the remarkable work of our employees. Innovating during a pandemic is no easy task. It requires not only considerable agility but also a sense of creativity and a constant desire to reinvent ourselves for the greater benefit of our customers," said Luc Tremblay, Chief Executive Officer of the STM.

On Métrovision screens

The STM is able to provide occupancy levels on the Orange line because it is served entirely by AZUR trains. They are the only trains with the necessary electrical components to estimate the number of passengers on board. The information provided will include:

  • Four levels of occupancy, like those used on the mobile site
  • Up-to-the-minute refreshing and an AI system that accounts for ridership history implemented by STM teams
  • Near-real-time estimates for each train car
  • An invitation for customers to move toward the front or back of the train, when applicable

On the STM website

Information on Orange line peak periods will also be available on the STM's website, including on its new mobile version, which is already fully deployed and includes other new features, such as:

  • Real-time bus occupancy levels
  • Optional location settings and network map on the home screen
  • Schedules viewable at a glance
  • Ability to add favorites (buses or locations)
  • Search tool now available on all pages
  • Site accessibility for those using screen readers

Bus occupancy levels are also available on our partner apps, Transit and Chrono.

Learn more about the new mobile site

Learn more about occupancy levels

Source : STM

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Côte-Vertu garage project: STM terminates contract with EDT GCV Civil s.e.p.

Further to the notice of default issued on November 13, the Société de transport de Montréal (STM) is terminating its contract with EDT GCV Civil s.e.p., comprised of EBC Inc., Dragados Canada Inc. and Groupe TNT Inc., as part of the Côte-Vertu garage project.

EDT GCV Civil s.e.p. was awarded a $130 million contract to perform the excavation and concrete work on the mainly underground garage, which was originally supposed to be completed in November 2019.

In the interest of responsible project management, the STM must act in order to control the project costs and minimize the delays.

The STM shall take the necessary measures to ensure that the work continues as soon as possible. Indeed, the STM still aims to commission the garage in 2022.

Launched in 2017 and approximately 70% complete, the project involves building an underground garage to house ten additional trains and three above-ground buildings needed to operate the garage.

The balancing out of the number of train storage spaces at each end of the Orange line will provide operational flexibility for adding trains, support the expected growth in ridership in the coming years and increase the offer of service to keep pace with the extension of the Blue line.

The other work to be completed includes the:

  • construction of three above-ground buildings;
  • installation of equipment needed to operate the garage;
  • installation of tracks and switches;
  • upgrading of the exterior landscaping.

With a $492.3 M price tag, this major project is being funded by the governments of Quebec and Canada.

To complete the project, the STM is scheduled to close the Côte-Vertu station for a 12-week period during the summer of 2021 in order to install a track switch ahead of the station. This will allow it to increase train frequency by 25% during peak periods on the Orange line. Mitigation measures will be implemented to minimize inconveniences caused by the station closure.

Source : STM

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The first REM car unveiled in Montreal

The Alstom-led consortium, Groupe des partenaires pour la mobilité des Montréalais (Groupe PMM), participated in the Réseau express métropolitain (REM) project office's unveiling of the first cars that will carry passengers on the REM in Greater Montreal.

The event was attended by Chantal Rouleau, Minister Responsible for Transport and Minister Responsible for the Metropolis and the Montréal Region, Valérie Plante, Mayor of Montreal, other local politicians, Charles Émond, President and Chief Executive Officer of Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec, Macky Tall, Head of Real Assets and Private Equity at Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec and President and Chief Executive Officer of CDPQ Infra, Jean-Marc Arbaud, Managing Director of CDPQ Infra and REM project office, Éric Appert, Director of the Groupe PMM consortium and Souheil Abihanna, Managing Director of Alstom Canada.

To date, Alstom has delivered four cars to Montreal. The cars for the REM are based on a proven Metropolis platform, already widely in service in the world, including in Sydney, and adapted for Montreal, not only in their design, their capacity, their accessibility, and to the experience they will offer passengers, but also to climatic conditions. The cars will form a single uninterrupted train for passengers, serving the mobility of Greater Montreal. The exterior livery, chosen by the public, was inspired by the Samuel-De Champlain Bridge and was designed to blend into the Montreal environment, offering passengers breath taking views via panoramic windows and large bay windows at either end.

Alstom is supplying REM with not only 212 Metropolis cars, or 106 trains, but also Alstom's automated and driverless Urbalis 400 communication-based train control (CBTC) solution, an Alstom Iconis control centre, as well as platform screen doors and depot equipment for this fully automated light-metro system. Recognized as the supplier of choice for reliable and efficient metros, Alstom has delivered nearly 6,000 Metropolis cars to 25 cities around the world.

Awarded to the Groupe PMM consortium in early 2018, the REM project is the largest transit project in Quebec's history since the construction of the Montreal metro over 50 years ago. REM will be one of the world's largest automated transportation networks - 67 km long with 26 stations - connecting downtown Montreal to the South Shore, the North Shore, the West Island and the Montréal–Trudeau international Airport.

Alstom has been present in Canada for over 80 years. Headquartered in Montreal, Quebec, which is also home to the company's global centre of expertise in research and development of integrated urban mobility control systems, the company also has office and manufacturing facilities in not only Sorel-Tracy, Quebec, but also in Ottawa, Toronto and Brampton, Ontario. With two sustainable industrial locations, and long-term structuring mobility projects and offices across the country, Alstom is a proud Canadian mobility player developing not only the future of transportation but also of the economy, industry and employment in the country.

Source : Alstom

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Côte-Vertu Garage Project – STM issues notice of default to EDT GCV Civil s.e.p.

In the interest of responsible project management, the STM has decided to issue a notice of default to EDT GCV Civil s.e.p., comprised of EBC inc., Dragados Canada Inc. and Groupe TNT Inc., the companies currently performing excavation, concrete and backfilling work as part of the Côte-Vertu garage project. The notice states that the company has five days to provide the STM with satisfactory solutions to a number of breaches of contract in order to control costs and limit schedule delays. The STM is taking this action following numerous discussions and breaches of agreement by representatives of EDT GCV Civil s.e.p.

In compliance with the STM contract management process and in the interest of promoting a constructive resolution, the STM will not issue further details on the exact criticisms against EDT.

This project is valued at $492.3 million and involves critical infrastructure for the operation of the Orange line and the entire métro network.

EDT GCV Civil s.e.p. was awarded a $130-million contract to perform the excavation and concrete work on the mainly underground garage, which was originally supposed to be completed in November 2019.

The STM still aims to commission the garage in 2022.

Côte-Vertu Garage Project

The Côte-Vertu garage project consists in the construction of an underground garage that will house 10 additional métro trains. The STM will also install a new track switch, allowing it to increase train frequency by 25% during peak periods on the Orange line. The garage commissioning is planned for 2022.

Source : STM

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Update on the Réseau express métropolitain project: important report on work completed under exceptional circumstances

Media representatives were invited today for an update on the Réseau express métropolitain project. CDPQ Infra and the REM project office went over the work completed in 2020 and presented the revised schedule that takes into account the impact of COVID-19 and of two major issues identified in the Mont-Royal tunnel as part of its modernization.

REM construction is spread out over more than 20 construction sites across the Greater Montreal area, with more than 2,000 workers and professionals on the job; ultimately, more than 30,000 direct and indirect jobs will be generated during the implementation phase. Every month, more than $100 million is injected into the Quebec economy as the largest public transit project in the last 50 years is built in Quebec. This new transportation network will help transform mobility in the Greater Montreal area.

"In this particular context, we must acknowledge and congratulate the exemplary work carried out by our teams and the health and safety responsables who've had to deal with this exceptional situation while ensuring continuity of operations, work and maintenance on all REM construction sites. Thanks to them, the first rail tests will begin this fall as planned, and the first REM cars will be traveling on the South Shore in the coming weeks," said Macky Tall, President and CEO of CDPQ Infra.

Major milestones were also reached in 2020, with the launch of Alice – the tunnel boring machine – toward the airport and the arrival of the first four REM cars.

COVID-19: an extended shutdown and new measures to be taken

Following the COVID-19-related analysis conducted in the last few months, it is noted that the work shutdown period in early spring, the implementation of health measures due to the pandemic, the impact on the mobility of our specialized workforce, as well as the impact on our supply chain, have resulted in an overall delay of approximately three to six months for all REM construction sites.

Teams are working diligently to find ways to make up for lost time. While the pandemic is still ongoing, the project office continues to closely monitor the situation with relevant authorities.

Major challenges related to the modernization of the Mont-Royal Tunnel

After two years of preparatory work while maintaining train traffic, the Mount Royal Tunnel, originally inaugurated in the midst of the Spanish flu pandemic in 1918, was completely closed on May 11th in collaboration with all public transit stakeholders, Mobilité Montréal and the Government of Québec.
This complete closure made it possible to begin the construction work required to modernize this century-old tunnel and add two stations in the very heart of Mount Royal.
However, acquiring full and safe access to the tunnel led the construction crews to identify two major, unforeseen safety issues:

1. Unexpected detonation of a century-old explosive charge:
  • On July 20, as excavation began inside the Mont-Royal Tunnel, an unexpected detonation occurred in the tunnel. Work was immediately suspended and thankfully no workers were injured. The investigation and enquiry revealed the most likely cause was that workers intersected an old bore hole containing an explosive charge dating back to tunnel construction in 1912.
  • In collaboration with experts and research chairs, strict measures, approved by the Commission des normes, de l'équité, de la santé et de la sécurité du travail (CNESST), have been established in order to safely resume tunnel modernization work in early November.
  • These measures include complying with worker exclusion zones during drilling activities and using remote-controlled equipment to ensure the safety of all personnel on-site.
2. Safety issue due to structural deficiencies in the southern section of the tunnel (De Maisonneuve and Central stations):
  • While conducting intrusive inspections in the tunnel in downtown Montreal, the teams noted extensive structural degradation of the walls.
  • Since no waterproofing membranes were applied to the tunnel walls, the de-icing salts used for years on McGill College Avenue above this section have infiltrated the concrete and corroded the steel columns and beams in the vault, creating a very advanced state of degradation.
  • This deterioration calls for immediate measures to avoid potential risks to the structural integrity of McGill College Avenue and therefore requires major reinforcement work. Among different studied options, the option that minimizes the impacts for the City of Montreal and surface users was selected: the tunnel will be reinforced from the inside to ensure its structural integrity.

"Every day, our technical teams do an extraordinary job of minimizing impacts as challenges and obstacles arise. No compromise would be acceptable when it comes to the safety of workers and the public; it is therefore important to take the necessary measures while continuing to manage our schedule in a tight and rigorous manner," said Jean-Marc Arbaud, Executive Director of CDPQ Infra and the REM project office.

Schedule for remaining work: COVID-19 impact and new project scope

Due to COVID-19 related impacts, the commissioning of the REM South Shore branch, from Brossard Station to Central Station, is now planned for Spring/Summer 2022, rather than the end of 2021.

The safety issues that have arisen in the Mont-Royal Tunnel will not only slow activities due to the strict safety measures to be followed for drilling the 30,000 planned bore holes, but also due to the added task of reinforcing the southern section of the tunnel. Therefore, the segment between Central Station and Du Ruisseau Station will only be opened in the fall of 2023, rather than spring 2022. We will work closely with public transit partners and Mobilité Montréal so that the transportation measures put in place for users of the Deux-Montagnes and Mascouche lines can remain in place during this period.

The commissioning of the Mont-Royal Tunnel also affects opening the West Island, Deux-Montagnes and Airport branches, since the tunnel lies in the central segment. Furthermore, the approximate 6-month dynamic testing period on the other branches can only begin once the tunnel is commissioned. The opening of the West Island antenna is thus planned for the spring of 2024, rather than fall 2023, including the opening of a segment of the Deux-Montagnes antenna up to the Sunnybrooke station. The complete segment up to Deux-Montagnes will be put into service in the fall of 2024, rather than at the end of 2023.

Finally, for the airport branch, the impacts related to COVID-19 and this test period also added to the delays related to the commissioning of the tunnel boring machine. The opening of this antenna is thus planned for the end of 2024, rather than the end of 2023.

"This has been a significant year from every perspective. I am proud of the work our teams have accomplished, as they work tirelessly to deliver a world-class public transit project for the Greater Montreal area, despite a year plagued by unexpected events. Starting this fall, only two years and a few months after the groundbreaking ceremony, REM cars will be circulating on the South Shore and within a few years the REM will be riding in the Greater Montreal area," asserted Macky Tall, President and CEO of CDPQ Infra.

Source : REM

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TransLink first in North America to test copper coating on transit

TransLink will be the first transit system in North America to pilot the use of bacteria and virus killing copper on high-touch transit surfaces. This industry-leading project is part of a study that will see various copper-based products and a protective coating called organosilane installed on SkyTrain and buses to test how effective these agents are at destroying viruses and bacteria on transit.

There will be comprehensive testing as part of the initial four-week pilot phase:

  • Products will be installed on two trolley buses on high-ridership routes and two SkyTrain cars on the Expo and Millennium Lines.
  • Twice weekly the surfaces will be swabbed and tested to determine antimicrobial effectiveness of the products.
  • At the end of one month, the surfaces will also be assessed for durability.

The results of this pilot could have wide-reaching impacts for infection prevention for the transit industry and other industries that rely on shared public spaces.

Copper alloy surfaces are naturally antimicrobial with self-sanitizing properties. Recent literature shows that copper alloy surfaces destroy up to 99.9% of bacteria and viruses within four hours. Organosilane is a wipe-on coating that can provide long-lasting protection against damaging microbes such as bacteria, mold, mildew and many viruses. When used in tandem with good hygiene and cleaning protocols, copper and organosilanes can help inhibit the buildup and growth of viruses and bacteria.

The project is the result of a partnership between TransLink, Teck Resources Limited (Teck), Vancouver Coastal Health, VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation, Coalition for Healthcare Acquired Infection Reduction (CHAIR) Canada, and the University of British Columbia. This initial phase is fully funded by Teck, as part of its Copper & Health program. It is based on Copper preceding studies conducted by the Infection Prevention & Control team at Vancouver Coastal Health and supported by Teck that have shown copper is effective at killing bacteria and is durable over a period of many years.

Quotes:

Kevin Desmond, TransLink CEO —
"We're proud to be the first transit agency in North America to pilot this industry-leading technology and I look forward to working closely with our project partners. We've been carefully examining new ways to ensure transit is one of the safest public spaces throughout the pandemic. The risk of COVID-19 transmission on transit remains extremely low and this initiative will only bolster our comprehensive cleaning protocols which are already in place. Any findings from this pilot project will be shared with our fellow transit agency colleagues and other industries which may be able to use this emerging technology."

Don Lindsay, President and CEO, Teck —
"We are proud to be working with all the partners on this important pilot project to expand the use of antimicrobial copper in high-traffic public areas and prevent infections. Through the Copper & Health program, Teck has been partnering with healthcare professionals, academia and others for years to help make communities safer. This pilot builds on those efforts at a critical time as the world works to prevent the spread of COVID-19."

Dr. Marthe Charles, Medical Microbiologist, Vancouver Coastal Health —
"This project builds on preceding research and will increase our understanding of the effectiveness of copper in killing organisms on frequently-touched surfaces. Positive findings will then be used to study the impact of copper on bacteria and viruses such as COVID-19 and norovirus. This holds future infection control benefits not only for the public in their travels but for healthcare workers and patients who navigate their medical journey at Vancouver Coastal Health and beyond."

Angela Chapman, President & CEO, VGH & UBC Hospital Foundation —
"Our Foundation plays a vital role in funding innovation through medical research in BC. Donor funding has played a role - here in BC and globally - to accelerate our understanding of the COVID-19 virus and its transmission. This project will leverage the expertise of Vancouver Coastal Health's Infection Prevention & Control team to determine the public health benefits of copper in reducing transmission of COVID-19 and other viruses. We are grateful for the partnership of Teck and TransLink to make this very special "made in BC" research project possible."

Richard Dixon, CHAIR Canada, Chairman & Chief Technology Leader —
"CHAIR Canada has the privilege of being able to be the project manager for this exciting and innovative transit project that has great potential to make a lasting difference in many facets of daily life for the public. We are a non-profit organization that emphasizes technologies and strategies such as copper alloys that make a major difference in air, water and surface contamination. We work with leading Canadian and international healthcare and industry organizations within the context of these key themes: Collaborate, Investigate, Innovate, Educate, Advocate and Research."

More information about Teck's Copper & Health Program:

To find out more information about Teck's Copper & Health Program, the role of antimicrobial copper, and other examples of copper in action, please visit coppersaveslives.com.

Source : TransLink

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Public consultation on the Blue line extension: STM applauds the public’s participation and the commissioners’ work

The Société de transport de Montréal (STM), principal contractor of the Blue line extension, welcomes the filing of the report of the Commission that led the public consultation process deployed in February and March. A number of the recommendations contained in the report confirm that the STM's efforts are on track, and the STM will take the aspects raised by the commissioners into consideration to enhance the project.

The report contains 43 recommendations revolving around four main themes:

  • Métro station design: architecture, culture, heritage, layout and safety
  • Integration into existing environment: integrated mobility and future development
  • Nuisance management during construction: mitigation measures and communication
  • Project leadership: regional planning and information dissemination

At their core, these recommendations are based on the concerns and hopes communicated by citizens and organizations who asked questions or expressed opinions during the public consultation period.

Strong citizen participation

A total of 631 people attended the nine information and input evenings that were held, 85 inputs were submitted to the Commission and 50 participants completed the guided online survey. The STM thanks the members of the public for their strong participation and constructive contribution to dialogue, and applauds the professionalism shown by the commissioners throughout the process.

Action plan

Following an exhaustive analysis of the report and discussions with the commissioners, the STM has prepared an action plan, aimed at implementing the reports' main recommendations. Some of the identified aspects are already in place or have been taken into consideration, and the commissioners' work as a whole will help the STM teams enhance the project and deliver infrastructure that meets the expectations of customers and citizens, while striving to comply with the project's key parameters.

Source : STM


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