For years, commuter trains have been barreling through Kahnawake, a First Nations reserve on Montreal’s south shore, without stopping.
“It’s a tough pill to swallow,” said Mohawk Council of Kahnawake Chief Carl Horn.
“It’s passing right through our territory and our people should benefit from it as well.”
Horn said he believes the former Adirondack train station, not far from the Mercier Bridge, is a perfect candidate as exo trains already pass through it.
“We can easily construct a 100, 200-car parking lot here. Our public works definitely have the skills to construct a platform; we have resources to construct a shelter and, in partnership with Châteauguay, we can definitely make it possible. It wouldn’t be all that difficult,” Horn told Global News.
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The two administrations have sent a joint letter to exo to pitch the idea.
“The mayor of Châteauguay and his council is 100 per cent on board with us,” Horn said.
“We felt if we put a package together, our council and their council, it would have more weight.”
Horn points out Kahnawake residents need an efficient way to get to the city, taking into consideration the problematic traffic conditions on the Mercier Bridge and all the construction sites in and around Montreal.
“I’m thinking especially of our students in the community, just starting out with CEGEP in the city, even high schools. They have to deal with the cost of travel, parking,” said Horn.
“We just felt now’s the time for our students.”
Châteauguay Mayor Pierre-Paul Routhier was on vacation and unavailable for comment.
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In a statement to Global News, exo noted there are no current plans to build a station in Kahnawake, but it will be launching public consultations in 2020 as part of a complete review of transit in the area.
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“This citizen consultation exercise will allow us to better identify the needs of our public transit users in this sector and to adapt our offer to the demand,” said exo spokesperson Catherine Maurice.
A spokesperson for Chantal Rouleau, Quebec’s minister for Montreal and junior transport minister, told Global News it is “too early” to discuss a train station in Kahnawake.
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