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McGill students, staff worried by disruptions on Deux-Montagnes and Mascouche train lines

WATCH: Some students and staff at McGill University are wondering what will happen to their commute time once the Mascouche and Deux-Montagnes train lines shut down in January.

Faculty, staff and students at McGill University are worried about Deux-Montagnes and Mascouche exo train disruptions coming in the January, so they have taken the matter into their own hands.

A group of campus unions and associations started a survey to find out how the service interruptions will affect the university community.

“It impacts a lot of lives of individuals and families,” explained Raad Jassim, president of the McGill Course Lecturers and Instructors Union.

“There’ll be delays to arrive to the works so there’ll be stress at the end of the job, and there’ll be a stress to go back to the family.”

READ MORE: Train commuters unimpressed with REM mitigation efforts

Thousands of additional passengers are expected on some Montreal metro lines during rush hour come January.  The construction of the light rail system (REM) means the closing of the Mont-Royal train tunnel early in the new year, causing service interruptions along the Mascouche and Deux-Montagnes train routes.

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With mitigation measures in place, including train and bus shuttles, authorities estimate that 8,000 more passengers per rush hour will use the Côte-Vertu Metro stop alone.  That’s on top of the 30,000 or so who move through that station daily, according to Montreal transit authorities. City officials caution that it will take longer to get to work and school.

Deux-Montagnes train line ridership down
Deux-Montagnes train line ridership down

That’s what has the McGill community worried, and students and staff say the school administration hasn’t said how it plans to address this.  They estimate that thousands of employees and students will be affected.

“These [interruptions] are supposed to happen in winter and it’s already October, and so the students and the staff are getting antsy to see what’s going to be done about this,” Adam Amsel, vice-president external of the Student Society of McGill, told Global News.

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

Union leaders also plan to have a town hall on campus to solicit ideas and pitch them to the administration.  Some things they are considering include arranging video recordings of courses or setting up satellite campuses so students can access lectures remotely.

Jassim, meanwhile, has other ideas.

“Maybe two days when an individual could work from home, or accommodate, say, starting early work, finishing early to avoid rush hour,” he said.

“We would like to see some help and understanding from the administration at McGill.”

He and other leaders say they just want to be prepared so they don’t have to wait for the institution.

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Global News contacted McGill administration for comment but didn’t hear back by press time.

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