Some train users living west of the island are denouncing a proposed plan to merge a pair of Exo commuter train stations.
Exo wants to close down both the Pincourt-Terrasse-Vaudreuil and Ile-Perrot train stations and replace them with one new, safer station somewhere between their current locations.
“We’re looking to address the safety issue of the four-track crossing to make it easier for our users to access the train,” explained Exo spokesperson Catherine Maurice.
Both stations have four tracks that see multiple types of trains every hour, including Via Rail and cargo trains in addition to the commuter trains.
Maurice says riders sometimes risk their safety when crossing.
“The goal here is to address the dangerous behaviour we’re observing on the ground and the solution Exo is proposing is the development of a new station between Pincourt-Terrasse-Vaudreuil and Ile-Perrot stations,” said Maurice.
She emphasized that the plan is far from a done deal. At this stage, transit authorities are asking affected municipalities for their input on the proposal.
Terrasse-Vaudreuil city manager Ron Kelley told Global News his city’s councillors oppose the idea and want the train station to remain the way it is.
People who use the Pincourt-Terrasse-Vaudreuil train station have launched a Facebook page to show their opposition to the proposal and lobby politicians to get on their side.
Three train users who spoke to Global News at Pincourt-Terrasse-Vaudreuil station said they didn’t like the idea. Alexandre Drouin said he recently bought a home in Pincourt, specifically because it is near the train station.
“We were counting on being able to bike or walk here to commute downtown, so we don’t need to have cars,” he told Global News.
Ken Tait said he believes the proposed merger would just make it more difficult for people to take public transit.
“Everybody wants to go green. How the heck are you going to go green if you make people drive their cars? That’s exactly what’s going to happen,” Tait said.
Officials also say that in a five-kilometre stretch the train stops four times, slowing down the commute.
Exo will be holding an online information session on Wednesday night, where citizens are expected to raise their concerns about the idea.