Historic old Quebec to get tram link


Montreal (AFP)

Quebec City's historic old quarter, a World Heritage site, will be linked to outlying districts by a tramway under a multi-billion-dollar new public transit project, officials said Friday.

The 23-kilometer (14 mile) electric tramway will connect the city's north and west, via the old quarter, with service rolling out progressively from 2022 to 2026.

Philippe Couillard, the premier of Quebec province, said the project is part of an effort to address traffic congestion which he called "an obstacle to progress."

The Can$2.9 billion ($2.2 billion) transport project will be funded 60 percent by the province, with the balance coming from Ottawa, officials said.

Quebec was founded in the 17th century by French explorer Samuel de Champlain. Its historic district, unique in North America, is considered "a remarkable example of a fortified colonial town" by UNESCO, the United Nations cultural agency which includes the area on its World Heritage list.