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The government says yes to the tramway on land in Quebec, but not under the river

Illustration: Quebec City Here we see an “artist's view” of what a tramway would look like in Quebec City.

Isabelle Porter in Quebec

Published at 16:47 Updated at 20:01

  • Quebec

Prime Minister Legault will finally respect his happy new year wishes to Infomanby giving the green light to the Quebec tramway. But he rejects the idea of ​​a Quebec-Lévis link dedicated to public transport, submitted by CDPQ Infra.

“We buy this route and we commits to doing this route,” the Prime Minister said on Thursday about the tramway.

This 19-kilometer route constitutes the backbone of the project. It would connect the Le Gendre sector, to the west, to the suburbs of Charlesbourg, to the north, over 21 kilometers. In its report, CDPQ Infra estimates the production costs at $5.5 billion.

A good deal, underlines the Prime Minister, since the “new technologies” proposed by the CDPQ (on the size of the wagons, in particular, and the use of a hybrid system) will make it possible to generate “significant savings” compared to what was previously proposed.

An argument which allows François Legault to respond to those who accuse him of having wasted Quebec City's time with his hesitations in the matter.

« C “It’s clear that the six-month break was beneficial,” he says. “It gives us an overall plan that is even better than what was announced. »

No to the under-river tramway

However, the government does not subscribe not to the entire plan of 15 billion dollars over fifteen years planned by CDPQ Infra.

First, he rejects the idea of ​​connecting Quebec and Lévis by a tunnel reserved for the tram, even if this is what his government proposed when the third link was abandoned in April 2023.

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“For the moment, this is not one of our priorities. […] What we want is a highway link between Quebec and Lévis. »

The Prime Minister also puts on hold part of the first phase of the CITÉ project, which totaled not 5.5 billion dollars but 9.1 billion.

In addition to the tramway, this phase provides for the addition of two rapid bus service (SRB) lines: one in Lévis, at a cost of $2.4 billion , and a smaller one in Quebec, along Charest Boulevard (610 million).

It also includes the addition of 30.5 kilometers of lanes reserved for express buses connecting the northern outskirts of Quebec to the city center (780 million).

« SRB and bus part, it will be discussed with the mayors of Quebec and Lévis, but we are indeed open to carrying out phase 1,” said Mr. Legault. “We don’t want to impose the Fund’s exact proposals on the two cities. »

La Caisse in charge, initially

Québec has further confirmed its intention to “probably” give CDPQ Infra the mandate to carry out the first phase of the project, as it wishes.

The future transport agency Mobilité Infra Québec will not be ready in time, agreed Minister Geneviève Guilbault.

“We don’t want to wait for the agency, because we don’t want to waste time,” she said, specifying that Mobilité Infra Québec could “take over” later.

As for the timeline, however, Ms. Guilbault and Mr. Legault remained vague. “It’s too early to say when it will be finished, but we want to do it as quickly as possible. »

The CDPQ proposed to carry out phase 1 for 2030, phase 2, five years later, and the last, within fifteen years.

Teilor Stone

By Teilor Stone

Teilor Stone has been a reporter on the news desk since 2013. Before that she wrote about young adolescence and family dynamics for Styles and was the legal affairs correspondent for the Metro desk. Before joining Thesaxon , Teilor Stone worked as a staff writer at the Village Voice and a freelancer for Newsday, The Wall Street Journal, GQ and Mirabella. To get in touch, contact me through my teilor@nizhtimes.com 1-800-268-7116