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STM promises mitigation measures for stranded exo riders come January

Click to play video 'STM on damage control after reports that shuttle service for users of the Deux-Montagnes train line will be insufficient' STM on damage control after reports that shuttle service for users of the Deux-Montagnes train line will be insufficient
WATCH: A labour conflict between the STM and the bus drivers' union has riders stuck in the middle. As Global's Tim Sargeant explains, the transit corporation is trying to reassure commuters.

Senior Société de transport de Montréal (STM) officials are trying to alleviate concerns of public transit users, saying bus service will be available at the Bois-Franc train station when exo commuter trains on the Deux-Montagnes line stop running on Jan. 6 to allow for REM construction.

While the full scope of the impact is unknown, STM says they have arranged for buses that will take commuters from Bois-Franc to the nearest metro.

“We don’t know what’s going to be happening, maybe it’s going to be a lot of people, we don’t know,” Luc Tremblay, STM CEO said at a Wednesday afternoon press conference.

READ MORE: Additional mitigation measures announced to ease disruptions on Deux-Montagnes and Mascouche train lines

According to reports in The Journal de Montréal, unionized bus drivers voted against working outside their collective agreement, which could threaten those mitigation measures.

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Global News reached out to the union for confirmation, but our calls were not returned.

Click to play video 'STM bus service woes' STM bus service woes
STM bus service woes

However, STM staff are insisting buses will be there.

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“It will be a little more complicated for us… but the drivers will be there,” Tremblay said.

Sixteen regular STM buses are scheduled to be at the Bois-Franc station and 30 large coach-style buses have been leased from Galland to serve the Roxboro-Pierrefonds and Mont-Royal train stations.

“We will have employees to help people to go to the right place, to the right bus. That’s the plan,” Philippe Schnobb, STM president said.

Commuters were previously warned the addition of buses and metros to their daily commute could tack up to 45 minutes onto their transit times.

Some daily commuters are very worried about what’s to come Jan. 6.

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“I’m more than concerned, I’m quite worried that the measures that they’re offering, the mitigation measures, are not going to work,” Sandy Weigens, a daily exo train rider on the Deux-Montagnes line told Global News.

READ MORE: Deux-Montagnes train user appeals to premier to delay REM construction

Former vice-chair of the STM, Marvin Rotrand says he is also very concerned. He says the STM can no longer guarantee on-time performance because there are more than one hundred buses out of service on a daily basis.

“2019 is the worst year ever in the history of the STM,” Rotrand said.

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

For what it is worth, Tremblay says he will be at the Bois-Franc station on Jan. 6 to make sure everything operates smoothly.

If there are problems, the STM promises to make adjustments on a daily basis.