February 4, 2019 5:14 pm
Updated: February 4, 2019 6:41 pm

West Island mayors, residents worried about lack of parking at REM stations

WATCH: There are growing concerns on the West Island that parking at REM stations will be challenging. The mayor of Pointe-Claire tells Global's Felicia Parrillo that talks are ongoing but there is concern that the REM needs to find more parking for train users.

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In Montreal’s West Island, driving is the main way people get around.

That is why many hoped that the new light-rail train system, known as the REM, would accommodate their day-to-day reality — but it seems that may not be the case.

At the moment, Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue is slated to get around 200 parking spots for the new station, while the Sources station should see about 500.

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However, in Kirkland and the Fairview stop in Pointe-Claire, there are still question marks.

At one time, the Kirkland station was expected to have a multi-level parking lot, equipped with about 1,800 spots, but the city’s mayor says that’s no longer happening.

At Fairview in Pointe-Claire, the situation is similar.

“There was a number at the very beginning of 650 spots approximately at Fairview which have been reduced,” said Pointe-Claire Mayor John Belvedere.

Cadillac Fairview told Global News though it is working with the REM on integrating the light-rail train. The organization referred Global News to REM officials for questions regarding the parking lot.

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The REM, however, refused to comment and said talks are still ongoing.

Belvedere hopes someone will come up a solution.

“The West Island is completely developed differently than downtown Montreal,” he said. “You cannot just walk to a street corner and get on a Metro or get on a bus. The West Island has large lots, main thoroughfares like St-Jean, Sources and St-Charles.”

“You really have no way to get to those streets unless you take your car.”

REM officials point out that bus networks in various municipalities will be revised to help bring commuters to its stations.

READ MORE: REM construction blamed for new commuter train delays

Many West Islanders say if there is no parking, they’re not going to use the new system.

“You have to think of those young people that are trying to get their kids to daycare, school, and then they have to get to work,” said Sandy Fuller, a Pointe-Claire resident. “No, we need those parking spots.”

Though the parking lots in both Kirkland and Pointe-Claire are still up in the air, West Island mayors say they are staying positive.

They have a meeting scheduled with REM officials on Friday and they say the parking situation is at the top of their agenda.

© 2019 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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