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1 hour ago, ScarletCoral said:

Même pas sûre que ces gens pennent le transport en commun actuellement pour aller travailler au centre-ville... 

C'est pour leur donner espoir que leurs petits enfants dans des condos du C-V vont finalement pouvoir venir les voir, pas d'excuses que c'est trop compliqué.

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Parking was dominant subject at REM public information session

A panel of experts fielded question after question about parking planned for West Island REM stations at info session.


Updated: May 1, 2019


West Islanders vehemently questioned the shrinking number of parking spots to be made available to REM users in the Western sector of the island. GRAHAM HUGHES / GRAHAM HUGHES/THE GAZETTE

Overheard prior to the public information session on the REM light-rail network’s plans for the West Island, Monday:

“My first question is about parking. My second question is ‘Where is my parking?’. My third question is about parking.”

The message delivered by the standing-room-only crowd to the panel of REM light-rail experts during the event at the Holiday-Inn Pointe-Claire was clear. For the REM to be a success in the West Island, access to sufficient parking is non-negotiable.

The session, moderated by Pierre Tessier, began with a trio of power-point presentations about the light-rail network which will connect the West Island with the airport, Deux-Montagnes, downtown and the South Shore. The crowded room waited patiently as the vision and construction of the $6.3 billion electric, rapid transit network was explained. Much in the way of minutiae was missing, but the overall framework of the massive project, managed by CDPQ Infra, was outlined.

There was new jargon to learn. The public was told the network should be thought of as a metro system and not a conventional commuter train. And the crucial getting to and from the “metro” would now be dubbed “the first and last miles”.

Preparatory construction work for Quebec’s largest transit project in 50 years has already begun. The finished product will cover 67 km, have 26 stations and service will run 20 hours per day, seven days a week with West Island arrivals/departures every 10 minutes during peak hours and every 15 minutes off hours. There will be escalators and elevators, but no washroom facilities.

CDPQ Infra director of operations Denis Andlauer said the train cars that struggled to stay operational during cold weather in Ottawa are not the same cars that will be used for the REM network.

“Ours will be urban metro cars and will have all the assets necessary to face the ice and snow,” Andlauer said.

“The new metro line in the West Island” will be open for business by the end of 2023.

As REM’s director of public affairs Virginie Cousineau pointed out, repeatedly, throughout the evening, this delivery date gives the light-rail network’s partners four years to smooth out logistics and firm up the details.

Murmurs rippled through the room when the subject of parking was introduced. Cousineau said a minimum of 700 new parking spots will be available. Parking at the Roxboro-Pierrefonds and Sunnybrooke stations will remain the same.

Cousineau said other access options are being developed to make it easier to leave the family car at home. She listed possible contributors to the vision including Communauto, car2go, Vélo-Québec and Bixi. And she said the STM would be freed up to focus on improving frequency and routes in the region, because it would drop the routes to downtown which would be served by the REM.

Cousineau said the estimated ridership of 160,000 will significantly reduce the number of cars of the road which will, in turn, wipe out an estimated 680,000 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions over 25 years.

Quebec Transport Ministry spokesman Sarah Bensadoun broached the sensitive subject of the disruption of service on the Deux-Montagnes commuter line for two years, beginning January 2020 and brought on by REM construction which will force the closing of the Mount Royal Tunnel. A shuttle service from the Roxboro-Pierrefonds station to the Côte-Vertu metro station, new bus lanes and increased frequency of bus service are mitigation measures being put in place. Details of the roll out of mitigation measures will be announced in the fall.

As is the case in most suburbs, West Island residential neighbourhoods sprawl. One child goes to daycare and another to elementary school. School drop offs and pick ups, after-school activities and shopping are not within walking distance. As was pointed out on multiple occasions over the course of the lively question period, shifting habits to adopt alternative transit options is a good idea, on paper. Understanding the realities of the distances travelled by a suburban family on a daily basis is another.

“We are fully aware of the need for parking in the West Island,” Cousineau said. “We have entered into discussions with the owners of the RioCan and Fairview Pointe-Claire (shopping malls) to come up with more parking spots.”

Original plans had a multi-level parking lot for around 1,500 cars being built in Kirkland, but Cousineau said that plan was scrapped when the location of the Kirkland station was confirmed and it was discovered that the adjacent land —  the possible location for the parking lot — was being redeveloped.

Dorval councillor Marc Doret (District 4) asked the panel why CDPQ Infra wasn’t taking advantage of the construction of the link to the airport to also include connections with the nearby VIA Rail train station and Exo bus terminal.

Cousineau said there had been discussions of a merger in the past, but that they would “need a firm commitment from the federal government” before they could tackle the extension.

The power-point presentations will be available on the rem.info site this week.

Edited by Chuck-A
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Not surprised that the parking was the main issue but it's good to have some explanations like land not being available anymore. It also confirms a theory that some people here had that the parking of adjacents malls / stores would be available for REM parking, which is good news.

1 minute ago, Rocco said:

If WestIslanders want parkings and use their cars, what the hell are they doing at a train & collective transport reunion? Jesus Christ.

Because they want to know what happened to the parking amounts they were originally promised? Leave Jesus out of this.

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