When Montreal's airport authority surveys its passengers about their concerns, one gripe recurrently tops the list: The difficulty getting to and from the airport.
Montreal's Trudeau International Airport is close to downtown but there's only one practical way to go between the destinations: by car, shuttle or taxi. A rail link to Trudeau has been under discussion for decades.
Montreal airport officials are more than a little envious of Vancouver's new Canada Line, which opens Monday while similar projects in both Montreal and Toronto inch along.
"We are very, very eager to see things move forward here," says Christiane Beaulieu, spokeswoman for Aéroports de Montréal. She notes the federal government has funded Vancouver's rail link project. "This is a real need for Montreal … Vancouver's has become reality."
A steering committee is supposed to announce the route for the Montreal link by the end of this year. Trains wont start rolling for at least five years.
In Toronto, two rail projects are under way that will link the city with its Pearson International Airport, but neither will be up and running until the middle of the next decade.
Construction on an express rail line from Union Station downtown to the airport will begin this year or in early 2010, taking about five years. A new 31-kilometre light-rail line along Eglinton Avenue in the city's north end, which will also reach Pearson, is set to open in 2016.