Deux-Montagnes line users plead with Legault to declare moratorium on REM work

Commuter train on the Deux-Montagnes line. Tim Sargeant/Global News

Dozens of Deux-Montagne train line users read an official statement pleading Premier François Legault to impose a moratorium on that portion of the REM construction, during a gathering in Deux-Montagnes on Wednesday night. 

The  $192-million mitigation plan — which includes fare adjustments, as well as shuttle buses and shuttle trains to bring people to nearby Metro stations — put in place by the Quebec government, Mobilité Montréal and transit authorities earlier this month is “woefully inadequate,” the statement read.

READ MORE: Train commuters unimpressed with REM mitigation efforts

Commuters will have to use the proposed alternative routes as of January 2020 when the Deux-Montagne line shuts down to allow construction for the REM in the Mount Royal tunnel. This means trains will no longer bring people downtown, which many commuters argue will considerably increase their commute time.

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“We’re not asking them to stop the work completely,” said Stefan Bracher, co-organizer of Wednesday’s gathering.

“On the contrary — we’re asking them to concentrate the work on other areas.”

WATCH: (Sept. 11, 2019) Train commuters unimpressed with REM mitigation efforts

Click to play video: 'Train commuters unimpressed with REM mitigation efforts' Train commuters unimpressed with REM mitigation efforts
Train commuters unimpressed with REM mitigation efforts – Sep 11, 2019

Bracher drafted a set of alternative solutions that would be less inconvenient for commuters than the current mitigation measures.

One of the measures proposed by the REM includes bus shuttles that would take users from Bois-Franc station to Côte-Vertu metro station.

Bracher, however, argues that the ongoing construction work at Côte-Vertu metro station will add complications to their daily commute.

READ MORE:  REM construction means more commuters on Montreal metro’s orange line

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Instead, he proposes to wait until the construction — which will force Côte-Vertu station to close for 11 weeks during the summer of 2020 — is done before sending buses full of Deux-Montagnes commuters.

Some residents also plan to use their cars instead of taking the alternative buses to reach downtown. Bracher argues that even if they wanted to do so, the current plan will also add time to their commute.

Another reason the government should wait before closing the Deux-Montagnes line, Bracher said, is the current roadwork on the Highway 13 overpass. He argues that the increased traffic caused by the construction will add to the commutes of those who might choose to use their cars to reach downtown.

REM officials and other transport authorities have organized a meeting on Oct. 26 to answer residents’ questions about the upcoming closures.

— With files from Global News’s Dan Spector and Phil Carpenter

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