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The Agence Metropolitaine de Transport's (AMT) new commuter-rail line began service yesterday in the Montreal suburb of Mascouche, Quebec.Construction began in October 2010 on the line, which will serve about 700,000 people in the eastern part of the city and its northeastern periphery, according to government and transportation officials."The Mascouche line's entry into service is great news for public transit," said Robert Poeti, Quebec's Minister of Transport and the minister responsible for the Montreal region, in a press release. "Mascouche to Montreal in 65 minutes is hard to beat. Some 900 fewer vehicles will be on the road annually as a result, making a major contribution to reducing greenhouse gas emissions."
The Mascouche line was the largest public transit project since the extension of the Metro service to Laval in 2007, said Nicolas Girard, AMT's president and chief executive officer.
"Over 10,000 people obtained free tickets to try the new Mascouche line," Girard said. "Of the future customers registered, close to 20 percent of them have told us they want to use the service five days a week, which is very encouraging. We are confident that this new service will be a big success."
Thirty multi-level cars and five locomotives were acquired for the line. The cars have two levels, 142 ergonomic seats and a two-way communication system between customers and crew.
The Mascouche line can accommodate 5,500 passengers at rush hour, almost 30 percent of which currently use their cars, AMT officials said.