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MAS in Transit Systems - REM

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MAS in Transit Systems - REM

Started by Gaganpreet Jhajj December 6, 2023 - 1:25am Replies (1)

One recent transit development that will significantly improve ridership in Montreal is the Réseau Express métropolitain, or REM for short. The REM enables faster connections from the south shore to the main island with planned future expansions. The REM features many modern technologies that some argue must be commonplace in new rail systems, such as automated trains and platform screen doors. Both of these are key features that keep trains running on time, prevent passenger incidents on the tracks, and use automated systems to ensure that trains are kept at safe enough distances and ensure timely departures and arrivals [1]. In the future, there are plans to extend the REM towards the western part of the island, which will connect the already efficient train system in Montreal to Montréal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport as well as the technopark, which hosts many technology and R & D companies, that are currently only easily accessible by car [2,3].


One interesting thing about systems such as this is that they bring in new ridership and use new technologies in the area of MAS to cut costs but also operate as efficiently as possible. The REM site touts that the service runs "20 hours per day, 7 days per week". As someone who did an internship in Montreal, the connection of the REM to the technopark in the future will significantly increase accessibility to many workers as transit connections to the region are currently scarce and often consist of one bus every so often, which is completely crowded during peak times (from personal experience). 


Besides human factors such as improved accessibility, I think systems such as the REM provide tangible aspects of MAS in our daily lives and a blueprint for other cities to follow. Other countries have invested a lot in making rail systems more efficient and safe. Despite covering large distances, systems such as the Japanese shinkansen use a series of sensors to stop in the case of an earthquake or emergency [4]. As a result, they have boasted 0 accidents since operations started [5]. While local transit systems operate differently, we must see how we can leverage emerging technologies in MAS and automated transportation systems to aid transit-oriented development.


If anyone wants to dive deeper into this topic, I have linked some fascinating YouTube videos in the sources. 



[1] The World's Newest Metro is Here! | Montreal REM. Accessed: Dec. 06, 2023. [Online Video]. Available:

[2] “Montréal-Trudeau Airport,” REM. Accessed: Dec. 06, 2023. [Online]. Available:

[3] "Science and technological research center | Technoparc Montreal," Technoparc Montréal. Accessed: Dec. 06, 2023. [Online]. Available:

[4] Why This Train Is The Envy Of The World: The Shinkansen Story. Accessed: Dec. 06, 2023. [Online Video]. Available:

[5] "About the Shinkansen," Central Japan Railway Company. Accessed: Dec. 06, 2023. [Online]. Available:


  • Gaganpreet Jhajj December 25, 2023 - 4:42pm

    Regarding MAS in transportation systems, I wanted to discuss the formation of traffic jams. Some experiments were done on a closed loop in simulations and real life on how inconsistent vehicle speeds can cause traffic jams [1],[2]. If all cars were to travel at the same speed/speed limit, the number of jams would significantly decrease. However, every vehicle operating optimally to maintain the maximum flow is impossible in human-controlled systems. As the phantom traffic jam videos demonstrated, only a small human error or adjustment can cause echoing problems. With self-driving cars and MAS, we can have a future where cars can communicate with one another, take turns at intersections, and avoid collisions more efficiently. While this future is a while away, there is work towards that with full self-driving from companies like Tesla.


    [1] Traffic Jam without bottleneck - experimental evidence. Accessed: Dec. 25, 2023. [Online Video]. Available:

    [2]Formation of a “phantom traffic jam.” Accessed: Dec. 25, 2023. [Online Video]. Available:


COMP667  Multiagent Systems

COMP667 Multiagent Systems

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