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Criticisms levelled at Montreal metro expansion

The Auditor General of Quebec has severely criticized the cost overruns and delays that have plagued a project to e...


The Auditor General of Quebec has severely criticized the cost overruns and delays that have plagued a project to extend the Montreal metro system.
In June, Doris Paradis, the auditor general said that the project to build a transit line to Laval north of Montreal was based on faulty cost estimates in the beginning. The project was announced in 1998 with an estimated cost of $200 million. It is now expected to cost more than $800 million. It is being run by Montreal’s Metropolitan Transport Agency/l’Agence metropolitaine de transport (ATM).
The Auditor General said that the previous Parti Quebec government that launched the project should have asked for more studies to investigate alternative projects before the project started. She also said the government should have demanded more studies from the project managers.
The current Minister of Transport for Quebec, Mr. Yvon Marcoux, said he has been unhappy with the project ever since he was appointed minister in 2003.
And two months earlier, in March, Le Devoir newspaper reported that Claude Dauphine, president of the Society de transport de Montreal, said that the extension of the metro to Laval was not the wisest choice and it would have been preferable to continue to expand the Montreal network instead.
Construction on the line to Laval began in March 2002 and is now expected to be completed in 2007. It has three new stations, at Montmorency, de la Concorde and Cartier, and is expected to carry 50,000 passengers.
The consortium SGTM was hired to do the engineering, procurement and project management.