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North Shore companies offer employment closer to home for Deux-Montagnes train commuters

WATCH: Construction on the light rail REM project is ramping up and that means train users will be facing increasingly long and tough commutes to get downtown.

Several North Shore companies have begun offering employment opportunities to commuters of the Deux-Montagnes exo train line.

On Wednesday morning, a dozen local businesses were setting up shop to speak with commuters, just steps away from the train tracks at the Deux-Montagnes station.

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It is part of a new initiative by the Deux-Montagnes regional chamber of commerce called Change ton train-train.

The goal is to entice train commuters who work in downtown Montreal to think about employment options closer to home.

With work revving up on the $6.3-billion Réseau express métropolitain (REM) light rail project, service will be interrupted on the popular Deux-Montagnes train line.

“We really want to try and capitalize on that and try to attract as much talent as we can. For us, it was a great opportunity,” said Pierre Trudel, general manager of Novabus’ Saint-Eustache plant.

McGill University students and staff worried by Deux-Montagnes and Mascouche train line disruptions
McGill University students and staff worried by Deux-Montagnes and Mascouche train line disruptions

Deux-Montagnes Mayor Denis Martin says working close to home has mental and physical health benefits, adding that he sees potential in the project.

“I think it’s important to show them that there are some companies around here that are looking for employees that will be only five minutes from their home,” Martin said.

READ MORE: REM officials lay out mitigation measures for commuters as construction ramps up

The REM project is expected to be fully completed by 2023, but public transit commuters will have to endure several challenges until then when travelling to Montreal.

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In order to build the central corridor for the line, the Mount-Royal tunnel will have to be closed for renovations and the current Deux-Montagnes train line will completely close in 2021.

For those who rely on the Deux-Montagnes line, shuttle buses will be available from the following train stations: Roxboro-Pierrefonds, Sunnybrooke, Bois-Franc, Canora/Mount-Royal to the Côte-Vertu Metro station.

READ MORE: Train commuters unimpressed with REM mitigation efforts

The construction will impact around 18,000 commuters who use the Deux-Montagnes and Mascouche lines.

Transit officials say commuters should prepare to add an extra 30 to 45 minutes to their daily commute, but commuters in Saint-Eustache say they expect it to take much longer than that.

“We are expecting two hours there and two hours back,” commuter Jonathan Quezon said.

“That’s a four-hour commute every day. It’s going to be hard.”

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Members of Novabus who were speaking to train users on Tuesday say the company’s job openings have piqued the interest of some commuters.

“You can see in their eyes there is an opportunity. There maybe something for me with the train that will stop in a few months,” Trudel said.

READ MORE: REM officials lay out mitigation measures for commuters as construction ramps up

Organizers behind the Change ton-train-train say companies will be at the Deux-Montagnes station three days a week during the month of November.

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