| FACT BOX|
Length: 9,7 km|
Travel time: 15m 40s
Rolling stock: MR-73, 6 cars (rush hour) or 3 cars (off-peak hours and summer)
Profile: East-west circumferential
boul. de l'Acadie
Commuter train intermodal stations:
(Gare Parc – Blainville line)
This is the newest but the most troubled of Montreal's four metro lines. It has never performed up to its traffic expectations, which explains both the shortened trains and the shortened hours - the last trains leave the terminuses at 12:15 AM. In the very beginning the line operated only on weekdays and closed at 7:30 PM; until August 2002, it closed at 11:10 PM.
The line owes its troubles to two factors. First is its circumferential profile, which requires users to transfer in order to reach downtown. Many users simply use bus lines such as the 165- Côte-des-Neiges and the 80-du Parc, which thus become some of the most congested lines on the island.
Secondly is its route, which was planned to draw much of its clientele from three pools: the University of Montreal, Notre-Dame-de-Grâce, and the dense residential areas beyond the west end of the line. However, the line never reached the latter two; plans to extend the line west to NDG and northeast to Montréal-Nord were scrapped, and a replacement extension eastward parallel to Jean-Talon to Anjou has been held up for years.
Consequently, the main source of the line's clientele remains the University of Montreal, and the rest of the route contains some of the least-used stations in the network, such as Outremont, Acadie, Fabre, and D'Iberville.
The importance of the university to the line means that its students have a certain amount of leverage with regard to policy on this line. The extension of the line's hours was a student initiative to help students studying late.
Nevertheless, the line's recent construction means that it is well known for impressive architecture. Some of the stations on this line, such as Outremont, Acadie, and De Castelnau, are among the most beautiful in the network, and others, such as Édouard-Montpetit, Parc, and Saint-Michel, are among the most daring.
This line sprang from the union of two different ideas - a line along av. Jean-Talon serving the Parc-Extension, Saint-Michel, and Anjou areas, and service to the University of Montreal. In fact, what would become the western portion of the tunnel had already been built in the same contract with Snowdon station on the orange line, and its completion was non-negotiable; consequently, the fate of the eastern end of the line was the subject of dispute.
The Comité des transports de la région de Montréal (CTRM) recommended to the Lévesque government in 1977 to extend the line northeast through Saint-Léonard and Montréal-Nord, with a terminus at Amos. It also recommended not to build the union between Université-de-Montréal and Parc, owing to insufficient traffic.
Instead, the provincial government chose a straight line along av. Jean-Talon as far as Anjou, which it announced in 1979, and decided to put on hold the extension to NDG. After arriving at an agreement with the MUC on funding metro extensions, it also lifted the moratorium for the central portion of the line.
In 1984, the Bureau de transports de Montréal (BTM) decided that the original plan to serve Montréal-Nord would be replaced by a completely new line, Line 7, heading north from Pie-IX station on the green line. This line, which appeared in white on certain maps as late as 1995, was however shelved along with all other expansions when the Liberal government declared a final moratorium on all expansions in the late 1980s. The blue line would become the last portion of the metro to be built until the present day.
A plan to build an intermodal commuter train station on the CN tunnel under Mount Royal, to allow Édouard-Montpetit station to serve the Deux-Montagnes commuter train line and so link directly to downtown, never went forward due to the great expense and technical difficulty of building the station 70 metres underground.
As mentioned above, the first part of the tunnel was dug in 1975 at the same time as Snowdon metro; but it would remain unfinished until 1988. The first part of the line was opened between De Castelnau and Saint-Michel in 1986. The western portion began with the opening of Parc metro in 1987 and finished in 1988, though Acadie metro was opened two months late.
The extension eastward toward Anjou remains in the planning stage and will for the foreseeable future. The first portion will likely be a one-station extension to boul. Pie-IX. A further extension would have stations on Viau, Lacordaire, and Langelier streets, but the difficulty is in deciding the location of the terminus. The AMT would like to locate it northeast of the interchange of autoroutes 25 and 40 to serve as a metropolitan bus terminus; but the borough of Anjou would like to place it south of autoroute 40, to serve and promote development in the residential area located there.