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Réseau Express de la Capitale (Formerly known as the Réseau Structurant de transport en commun)


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Since we don't really have a topic for it, and given the early stage of their process, thought I would introduce you to the Réseau Structurant de transport en commun, the largest infrastructure project in Quebec City meant to built the following:

  • 23 km Tramway line (with two tunnels (total 3.5km) and dedicated lanes on the rest of the alignment)
  • 13 km of Trambus, with dedicated lane, meant to connect urban poles to the Tramway
  • 16km of dedicated roadway, to be shared by the Trambus and regular buses
  • Expansion of the Metrobus system, the current BRT offered in Quebec City, with increased frequency
  • 2 mechanical links, meant to connect the lower and higher town, a connection generally difficult for pedestrians and cyclists.

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http://www.reseaustructurant.info/index.aspx (only in french, but the official website of the project and its updates)

The City already has funding approved both federally and provincially, with a total cost of approximately 3 billions dollars, although the project has not been sent for offers, and most outside estimate are closer to 4 billions.

The project has currently been approved by the city, though it is still in planning phase, with an expected opening in 2026.

Personally, the project means a lot to me, since it is my hometown, but also because it will address a lot of the current shortcomings of the network, since the city has expanded considerably in the last 20 years.

Below are a few of the early renderings for the network, and its infrastructures. Note that the vehicle design has not been decided, and the renderings have changed considerably since the initial ones in 2018.

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Also not a fan of "Rec". Asking for trouble. "Ride the "Wreck"!". The cost of transit projects has skyrocketed over the last 5 years. So much has already been cut from the project, but I bet the

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Update on Quebec's adventure with tramways!

At the end of October, the city presented the comparative study conducted by Systra and the HEC regarding the best "heavy rail system" for the city. Four types were studied:

  • Open Tramway (Configured as currently proposed)
  • Grade-Separated LRT
  • Monorail (MONORAIL!)
  • Underground Metro (Ala Montreal Metro)

To the surprise of no one, the studies have recommended the current tramway proposal, suggesting it is the most flexible and cost effective for the capacity needs. Slides are only in french, but the four criteria are the following: Difficult of construction and Integration, Reliability, Availability of Technology, Average Cost.

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Based on those results, the city is planning to continue based on their current proposal, and will move forward with planning and development. Contracts have still not been awarded, and the city continues to expect entry into service by 2026.

The report also suggests a 4 minutes frequency, with a lower limit of 3 minutes due to the open system and circulations considerations.

While I haven't read the full report yet, I do not really think it was a fair comparison. To evaluate the LRT option, the model of reference was the Scarborough RT, not something similar to the Confederation Line. If you want to read the report and see the presentations (all in french), follow this link!

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  • 8 months later...
On 2019-11-11 at 6:24 PM, DavidBellerive said:

To the surprise of no one, the studies have recommended the current tramway proposal, suggesting it is the most flexible and cost effective for the capacity needs.

I am from Quebec City originally. Transit in that city is extremely slow despite all the efforts to create way back in the 1970's what was called the PVA (Parcours à vitesse accélérée) To go faster, the buses of that services skipped some of the stops along the route. The Metrobus came later. But in my times, it took me one hour and a half to go from my parents' home in Charlesbourg to the CEGEP de Sainte-Foy.

This city is unique and can't be compared to any other I know in North America. There is absolutely no room left at ground level and they want to add a Tramway. After living a Quarter Century there, I would oppose the current project because it is only going to make things even worse than they already are. A separated grade LRT with tunnel sections would have been far better.  Yes, I know, more expensive. But when something is built for future generations, it is a long term investment.

Here is where the project is, as of July 14, 2020: https://www.reseaustructurant.info/actualites/2020-07-14-candidature-construction-tramway.aspx

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The Québec City Tramway project has been rejected by the BAPE (Bureau d'audiences publiques sur l'environnement) https://www.lapresse.ca/actualites/2020-11-09/le-bape-recommande-le-rejet-du-tramway-de-quebec.php

The report says the project would not really improve mobility for people in the suburbs. Which is true.

I was born and raised in the Québec City area, and there was a time I had to go from Charlesbourg (North East) to CEGEP de Sainte-Foy (South West) and it took me forever with the buses. The proposed Tramway will not reduce significantly the travel times for many residents of la Vieille Capitale. The reason is that a metro is completely out of the question - too expensive. It will never happen. Period.

But a metro does not have to be completely under ground as we can see with Vancouver, Toronto and Ottawa. There can be elevated sections, sections at ground level and others underground (which is the case for the three cities mentioned).

The Québec City project also had a segment underground, but it is not long enough. To me, the underground portion should run to Université Laval's campus, then above ground to Place Laurier to the west (and beyond), and an elevated segment should run North to Charlesbourg.

If Québec City is to solve its problem of moving people at rush hours, speed will have to be among the priorities.

 

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Tramway de Québec: Régis Labeaume revient à la charge

https://www.journaldequebec.com/2021/01/26/tramway-de-quebec-regis-labeaume-revient-a-la-charge

 

For those not fluent in french, Mayor of Quebec City is arguing that the provincial government is blocking actual progress for "political reasons" and needs to happen. No concrete development beyond that talks are "supposedly" still occurring between the city and the Ministry of Transports.

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TRAMWAY AND SUBURBS: LABEAUME JUDGES THAT LEGAULT’S DEMANDS ARE “UNCLEAR”

https://thetimeshub.in/tramway-and-suburbs-labeaume-judges-that-legaults-demands-are-unclear/4125/

Obviously, the tram file is not really advancing at the rate hoped for by the mayor, who is still so jealous of the metropolis. Last week, he was publicly sorry that the capital was being treated as “a village” in terms of public transport. Again this morning, he said to have “escaped part of his coffee” while reading in Press an article on a possible 3e phase of the Metropolitan Express Network (REM).

 

No real surprise there. The city and the government do not want the same type of project it seems. And I can understand the frustration while looking at MTL getting a third phase of the REM, most likely, while Quebec has nothing...

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Well, gone are the days of the Reseau Structurant. Meet the REC!

https://www.rec.quebec

I really hate the name of the thing.

Now, the Tramway is called the "Tramway de Quebec", though the project remains the same funding envelope as before. The line will be 19.3km, with a single tunnel in the Parliamentary District between lower and upper town.

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Also new is the line now terminates at D'Estimauville instead of Charlesbourg. I personally think this alignment is better, and allows for future branches going north.

As of right now, the project remains in procurement as two separate RFQs: Rolling stock, the other for infrastructures and maintenance. Rolling stock should be finalized in Summer 2022, with the other in Spring 2023. This will certainly result in a delayed opening, ideally Autumn 2028.

Of course, it all depends on the results of the Quebec City municipal election on November 7th. Some parties have supported and recommended alternative projects to the one on the table right now.

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Also not a fan of "Rec". Asking for trouble. "Ride the "Wreck"!".

The cost of transit projects has skyrocketed over the last 5 years. So much has already been cut from the project, but I bet the bids willstill come in far higher than the current estimate. That said, still worth while. Take any cost overrun out of the Quebec-Levis tunnel. 

Let's just hope Quebec City elects a municipal government that supports the current project. That "Val" proposal would delay any sort of rail transit another decade and cost twice as much, despite what they say. And of course, that would likely mean outright cancelation of any transit project. 

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14 hours ago, J.OT13 said:

That "Val" proposal would delay any sort of rail transit another decade and cost twice as much, despite what they say. And of course, that would likely mean outright cancelation of any transit project. 

I genuinely do not see how VALSE can be costed to the exact same amount as the entire Tramway proposal, especially given how little it "really does".

This is another election that is pretty much a referendum *again* regarding the future of the project. I think we are on the 3rd "referendum election" on the topic. It is time to move forward. The project has sincerely matured since it's first presentation (simply go back to the original post of the thread, or even its coverage at first) and is a step in the right direction.

Heck, I even doubt the tramway project will still fit the envelope they have currently. I mentioned it quickly but the Estimauville-bound versus Charlesbourg brings some cost efficiencies, the entire redesign of the Sainte-Foy hub without the need for a tunnel, so does having Cartier at-grade versus underground (if you ask me a shame, I think it would integrate really well with the area) which allows for a shorter tunnel. Just by splitting the contract in two, rolling stock and infra will probably result in one being a lot more expensive than expected.

14 hours ago, J.OT13 said:

Also not a fan of "Rec". Asking for trouble. "Ride the "Wreck"!".

See that's all I can think of whenever I see REC. I get it, it's supposed to "align" with the REM, but it is such a poor packaging name for that many projects...

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