Montréal, Quebec, February 25, 2011

Archived - Governments of Canada and Quebec Join in Public-Private Partnership to Enhance Commuter Services and Create Jobs

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On behalf of the Honourable Jim Flaherty, Minister of Finance, Senator Larry Smith today announced that the Government of Canada will contribute up to $25 million through the P3 Canada Fund towards eligible costs of a new Maintenance Centre in Montréal, Quebec, for the Agence métropolitaine de transport (AMT). Senator Smith was joined at the event by Sam Hamad, Quebec Minister of Transport, François Ouimet of the National Assembly of Quebec, and Nancy Fréchette, the Vice-President – Operations of the AMT.

Through this project, the Governments of Canada and Quebec and the AMT will partner with the private sector to design, build and finance a facility required to maintain the current and future fleet of the AMT’s commuter trains. By facilitating minor and major maintenance operations using modern equipment, the new Lachine Maintenance Centre will enhance service reliability to the benefit of all transit users. Partnering with the private sector to deliver this project as a public-private partnership (P3) will leverage private sector expertise, allow the transfer of design and construction risks to the private sector, and generate positive value for money compared to traditional procurement, to the benefit of taxpayers.

Construction will start in 2012 and will last for 18 months, with the centre expected to be operational by 2013. The total estimated cost of the project is $119 million with contributions of $24.725 million from the Government of Canada through PPP Canada, $61.961 million from the Government of Quebec and $32.210 million from the AMT.

“The Government of Canada understands that this is an investment in our future. P3s are an innovative approach to building better public infrastructure and ensuring maximum value for taxpayers’ dollars,” said Minister Flaherty.

A public-private partnership that improves service and creates jobs

“We are proud to support projects like the construction of a maintenance centre for commuter trains at Lachine, which will provide a long-term solution to public transit development in the Greater Montréal Area, improve reliability as well as the safety of the network and its passengers, and create jobs,” explained Senator Smith.

“The Government of Quebec has invested $467 million to renew the AMT’s rolling stock, with one objective in mind: expanding public transit in the Greater Montréal Area in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The Lachine Maintenance Centre will thus ensure competitive public transit,” said Sam Hamad.

Increasing reliability and ridership

“This new maintenance centre will revitalize the Lachine industrial park and improve the efficiency of commuter train services. This reliability will certainly encourage more people to join the ranks of current users. Projects like the construction of the Lachine Maintenance Centre are an excellent example of the long-term vision for public transit that Quebec wants to develop,” said François Ouimet.

The Lachine Maintenance Centre will ensure that commuter train services are maintained and developed.

“PPP Canada is committed to bringing important public infrastructure initiatives and the expertise of the private sector together in a way that ensures value for Canadian taxpayers. Through its P3 Canada Fund, PPP Canada is encouraging the use of P3s by provinces, territories, municipalities and Aboriginal communities,” added Greg Melchin, Chair of the Board of Directors of PPP Canada. 

“In the past 12 years, commuter train ridership has more than doubled. Therefore, the AMT must make plans for the maintenance of a fleet of commuter trains that is expected to grow significantly. The AMT currently runs 160 two-storey passenger cars on its network in order to increase the capacity of its current lines by 70 per cent. In addition, 20 dual-mode locomotives have been ordered and will be used to increase the network’s reliability and implement the new Train de l’Est line. The rolling stock will increase from 217 to more than 300 units by 2015. Given its growth objectives, the AMT must be able to accommodate, and especially to maintain, these major acquisitions. The reliability of commuter trains is largely dependent on having maintenance centres. At the end of the day, all commuter train users will benefit from the new facilities,” said the AMT’s Nancy Fréchette.

Facilities on the cutting edge of technology

The maintenance centre workforce will have access to modern equipment that will ensure efficient, reliable and low-cost inspections and maintenance.

For further information, media may contact:

Annette Robertson
Press Secretary
Office of the Minister of Finance

Jack Aubry
Media Relations
Department of Finance

Maxime Sauvageau
Acting Press Secretary
Office of the Quebec Minister of Transport and
Minister responsible for the Capitale-Nationale region

Martine Rouette
Agence métropolitaine de transport
514-287-2464, ext. 4057

Peter Fletcher
Policy Advisor
Office of Senator Larry Smith


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