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Residents, mayors say REM could threaten future of Vaudreuil-Hudson commuter train

WATCH: Some West Island mayors and residents say they're concerned that the new REM network will jeopardize the Vaudreuil-Hudson RTM commuter train line. Global's Felicia Parrillo reports.

There is a sense of worry lingering among commuters who take the train from Lachine.

“It would really hurt this community of Lachine to have the trains not be here,” said Lachine resident Anne-Louise Tinhof.

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“We would be forced to take the bus, because no one drives into town anymore with all of the construction. So at this time, I think it would be a very unwise move.”

Last Friday, residents of Lachine, along with its mayor, met to discuss their concerns regarding the Réseau express métropolitain or REM.

READ MORE: Montreal train delays create frustration: ‘It’s just a system people can’t rely on’

The expected light rail train won’t pass through their community, so commuters will have to continue to rely on the Vaudreuil-Hudson line.

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However, some are worried that once the REM is built, ridership on the Vaudreuil line will inevitably decline, leading to disastrous consequences.

“Our line will be less and less used. And at one point, I mean, many, many studies have shown that it might just stop working,” said Lachine mayor, Maja Vodanovic.

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READ MORE: REM transit project symbolically breaks ground officially launching construction

If that were to happen, it would affect numerous communities from Vaudreuil, to Île-Perrot, to Beaconsfield.

“I think that it would be suicidal to whoever made the decision to eliminate it,” said Beaconsfield mayor Georges Bourelle.

Though Bourelle insists the REM will be a great service to those living in the West Island, he stresses that the Vaudreuil line is vital to those living near Highway 20.

READ MORE: West Island REM Light Rail stations are political tools, PQ says

“At this point, we don’t know what will happen in the next few years. Politically, will there be some changes? These things we don’t know,” he said.

“But I do know that the current provincial government is adamant that the service will continue.”

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No one from the Réseau de transport métropolitain (RTM) was available for an interview on Monday, but a spokesperson told Global News they are currently studying the potential impacts of the REM.

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“For now, we have no indication of a potential shut down of the line,” said Caroline Julie Fortin, RTM spokesperson.