Saint-Laurent mayor's Orange Line extension ideas gaining traction

Saint-Laurent mayor Alan DeSousa has been pushing for an extension of the orange line for years. Now, he has garnered the support of some federal election candidates in the Ahuntsic-Cartierville riding. 

DeSousa would like to see the line extended north-west toward Bois-Franc, a neighborhood in the Saint-Laurent borough. The extension would connect to the future site of the area's REM station.

Though the extension would technically be located in the Saint-Laurent borough, DeSousa said people living in Ahuntsic-Cartierville stand to benefit from it. 

"There are benefits because it'll provide for intermodal access, it'll serve the larger region, not just in Saint-Laurent but in Ahuntsic-Cartierville, Laval and the West Island," he said. 

He said the western portion of the Ahuntsic-Cartierville borough is under-served by public transit, and having the Orange Line extension would solve issues of congestion on both roads and buses in the area. 

Two federal candidates agree. Mélanie Joly, incumbent Liberal candidate for the Ahuntsic-Cartierville riding, said the Orange Line extension would be a priority for the party. 

"I've already had good conversations with Chantal Rouleau, the minister in charge of Montreal, and also with the city of Montreal. And both are really seeing this important infrastructure investment as a priority," she said. 

Zahia El-Masri, the NDP candidate for the same riding, said she supports the project because it would serve a high-density population. 

"Having this here would make our lives much, much more easier, and would make the transportation even more accessible to everybody," she said. 

CBC News reached out to the Conservative Party candidate for the riding Monday afternoon but did not receive a response.

Security measure

DeSousa also said the Orange Line extension would be good as a safety measure in case any issues with the REM arise. 

"It makes sense to consider the extension of the Orange Line from Côte-Vertu to Bois-Franc, if for no other reason than to act as a safety valve in the event that there would be a blockage of the tunnel," he said. 

Earlier this year, a report commissioned by the city and the Transport Ministry recommended the project. A spokesperson for the city told CBC News the extension is being studied by Montreal's regional transport authority, the ARTM. 

The eastern part of Ahuntsic-Cartierville is already serviced by the Henri-Bourassa metro station and Saint-Laurent is currently serviced by both the Côte-Vertu and Du Collège stations.