Brossard’s Panama bus terminal welcomes 550 new parking spots

Parking at the Loblaws next to Brossard's Panama bus station is opening up to commuters, Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2017.
Parking at the Loblaws next to Brossard's Panama bus station is opening up to commuters, Tuesday, Feb. 28, 2017. Brayden Haines/Global News

Brossard’s Panama bus terminal has made another 550 parking spots available to commuters, bringing the total to 1,511.

The Agence métropolitaine de transport (AMT), which owns the Panama bus station, has cut a deal with Loblaws to allow drivers to park their cars at the now-closed grocery store.

READ MORE: Brossard unanimously adopts bylaw banning plastic bags

The AMT and Loblaws signed a deal in October 2016 to add the 550 parking spots to make the commute easier for south shore public transit users.

AMT spokesperson Caroline Julie Fortin said the organization’s website has not been updated, and still incorrectly states there are 962 declared free parking spots.

READ MORE: Public hearings begin for Montreal’s new light rail transit system

The free parking places are not clearly marked by the AMT, but Fortin confirmed that transit users are free to park their vehicles without fear of being towed.

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Commuters are not allowed to park at the Champlain Mall and the Place du Panama strip mall.

A hub for commuters

The Brossard Panama bus terminal is one of the main lifelines for south shore commuters heading to Montreal.

It serves as a hub for south shore transit systems, including the Réseau de transport de Longueuil (RTL), CIT Roussillon, CIT Richelain and the Saint-Jean-sur-Richelieu bus lines.

The station is used by an estimated 2,249,700 travelers each year, according to a 2015 survey conducted by the AMT.

READ MORE: Caisse de dépôt, BAPE go head to head over Montreal electric train report

First Capital Realty, owners of the nearby Place Du Panama, said they do not plan to sell the property to make way for more parking.

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According to Jodi Shpigel, vice-president of development at First Capital Realty, the company sees the Caisse de Dépôt‘s proposed light-rail network as a possible future “business opportunity.”

“There are many possible redevelopment options,” she told Global News, adding there are no concrete plans yet.

The light rail train system is expected to be built by 2020.