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Longueuil resident advocates for expanded and better access to STM metros

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Longueuil resident advocates for better access to STM metros
WATCH: A Longueuil man is urging Montreal’s transit authority to improve access to its metro stations. As Global’s Felicia Parrillo reports, only 20 per cent of the stations have elevators which can make get around difficult for some commuters – Nov 17, 2018

The stairs are the only way for Woody Belfort to access to the metro, which can be pretty tough, considering he uses a wheelchair.

Belfort was born with spastic diplegia, a form of cerebral palsy.

He studies in Montreal, but lives in Longueuil. So almost every day, he uses the metro at Place Charles-Le Moyne in Longueuil to commute.

READ MORE: Summer terraces cause additional headaches for people with limited mobility

“I have to go down stairs, I have to go up stairs, I have to jump above little sidewalks,” said Belfort.

Out of the Société de transport de Montréal’s (STM) 68 metro stations, 13 have elevators.

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Those 13 stations are all located on the orange line. There are no stations with elevators along the green, blue or yellow lines.

WATCH: Wheelchair user highlights accessibility issues in Montreal

Click to play video: 'Wheelchair user highlights accessibility issues in Montreal'
Wheelchair user highlights accessibility issues in Montreal

Though the STM does have plans to make 31 of its stations accessible by 2022, activists say more needs to be done.

In an effort to advocate for more and better accessibility, Belfort posted a photo on his social media accounts.

He says his hope is that by people talking about it, things will change.

“I’m not even doing this for me; I can survive,” he said. “I can go down and up. I’m a pretty strong person, but the thing is, I see family with strollers, I see pregnant women, I even saw someone with crutches.

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A spokesperson for the city of Longueuil told Global News it soon plans to completely renovate its metro station.

READ MORE: Accessibility activists demonstrate on Montreal metro’s 50th birthday

The STM confirmed that it will take that opportunity to make the station accessible.

The work is expected to be completed in about four years.

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