They didn't want to, because it cost so much more per passenger than a bus. The AMT was in part created because of this, the STCUM wanted to get rid of trains, too expensive. Thus the province took over, suburbs and all.
Pre-pandemic, it was exceeding capacity between McGill and Berri-UQÀM. The STM didn't want any further extensions without adding a relief line downtown. Add the underconstruction REM and blue line extension, you were already looking at a disaster. Add this truncated project and you'll have a...
Instead of improving the project, they are planning to remove the downtown section entirely. STM and ARTM will manage the project. The STM already has the most stuffed vehicles in North America, this will make it worse...
Announcement by the Premier at 1130, the province will take charge of the project from now one. Meaning terrible politics at all stages of the project.
At 4G$ for glorified buses, it will probably have the worst ROI of any transport project in Canada. The objective is not even to transport people efficiently, it's to have a streetcar cause the European cities do. That's an even worse objective than density.
Interesting article about the upcoming privatisation of VIA Rail with HFR (in French).