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STM transit consultations in Montreal’s West Island underway

Click to play video: 'STM consultations underway in the West Island'
STM consultations underway in the West Island
WATCH: Montreal's public transit agency, the STM, is undergoing consultations in the city's West Island to improve its service to residents on the island's massive suburb. Global's Tim Sargeant has the details – Oct 13, 2022

The STM is reaching out to municipalities across the West Island to get their input on how best to improve service.

Elected officials and residents from Senneville, Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue and Baie-D’Urfé are among the first to be invited.

Officials at Montreal’s largest public transit agency are hoping to learn how they can better meet the needs of their clients but also to prepare for the arrival of the REM, Montreal’s future all-electric light rail service.

The train line to the West Island is expected to be running by the end of 2024.

‘’We have to rethink all our bus routes according to them being connected to the REM’,” STM president Éric Alan Caldwell told Global News on Thursday.

Caldwell says the consultation process is to reroute some buses so they act as feeders to the future REM stations.

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The mayor of Senneville supports the initiative but she would also like an STM phone app reinstalled that allowed commuters to make reservations to take taxi-buses to larger STM bus terminals or the train station.

‘’I’m certainly going to push for that to come back to life,’’ Julie Brisebois, the Senneville mayor, told Global News.

There is no regular bus service in Senneville and most of the homes here are single-family dwellings spread out on large lots.

Some residents doubt improving transit service in this community would make much sense.

‘’What are they going do? They’re going to run shuttle buses every 15 minutes, every half hour, every hour? I don’t think people have the time to wait,’’ Anders Lafon told Global News.

In Baie-D’Urfé, one of the big issues is making sure public transit service improves in the industrial park. Buses are sporadic and many employers tell the mayor more service would help.

‘’They would really like to see improved service to get their employees in and out of the park,’’ Baie-D’Urfé Mayor Heidi Ektvedt told Global News.

The West Island has the largest car use on the Island of Montreal according to the STM. The western part of Montreal is currently served by a stream of STM bus lines and the exo commuter train line. Many hope the addition of the REM in a couple years will give a third option to try and convince more people to leave their cars at home.

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