More than 100 people packed a room Thursday night in Deux-Montagnes, Que., to hear about plans to build two Réseau express métropolitain (REM) light rail stations in the area.
Officials from various transport agencies — including the Société de transport de Montréal (STM), Réseau de transport métropolitain (Exo) and Société de transport de Laval (STL) — were in the room to answer people’s questions.
“Our goal is to present what’s coming for the REM works,” said Jean-Vincent Lacroix, a spokesperson for the LRT project.
During construction, the Mount Royal tunnel will have to completely close for updates, meaning the Deux-Montagnes train station will also close.
Officials presented their mitigation plan for commuters in the Deux-Montagnes area, which includes reduced fares and shuttle transportation. However, the plan has been criticized by some commuters.
On Wednesday, dozens of Deux-Montagnes train riders issued a statement pleading with Premier François Legault to impose a moratorium on REM construction in the area.
“We’re not asking them to stop the work completely,” said Stefan Bracher, co-organizer of Wednesday’s gathering, at which the statement was read aloud. “On the contrary, we’re asking them to concentrate the work on other areas.”
One of the measures proposed by the REM includes shuttle buses that would take commuters from Bois-Franc station to Côte-Vertu metro station.
However, opponents argue that the ongoing construction work at Côte-Vertu metro station will add complications to their daily commute.
“We won’t bring people to Côte-Vertu when there’s going to be work. We will bring them to another station,” said Lacroix.
Lacroix added that REM officials are confident they have come up with the best possible plan.
“I can confirm that the RTM, the government of Quebec, the STM, STL, Exo, ourselves, we’ve looked at every option. And it is a major challenge,” Lacroix said. “I think it’s the greatest challenge of this project because we are working on an actual train line that we have to change completely.”
The two new Deux-Montagnes REM stations — Deux-Montagnes and Grand-Moulin — are supposed to be completed by 2023.
WATCH: (Sept. 11, 2019) Train commuters unimpressed with REM mitigation efforts
— With files from Global News’ Shakti Langlois-Ortéga