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Train de l’Ouest coalition calls for more trains on AMT’s Vaudreuil-Hudson line

  • Train de l'Ouest spokesperson Clifford Lincoln, in September, 2011, at the AMT's Valois commuter train station.
    Train de l'Ouest spokesperson Clifford Lincoln, in September, 2011, at the AMT's Valois commuter train station.
    Photo credit: (Pierre Obendrauf / THE GAZETTE)

The West Island coalition for the Train de l’Ouest is demanding the provincial government speed up its plan to improve public transit to the West Island and to start it all off with three more trains on the AMT’s Vaudreuil-Hudson line in 2014.

One day after Quebec’s Transport Minister Sylvain Gaudreault promised $84 million for another 208 kilometres of reserved bus lanes to improve public transit in the greater Montreal area, Clifford Lincoln declared: “It’s now our turn.”

Over the summer, three new trains were added to the AMT’s Candiac line and another three were put on the St-Jerôme line, forcing a schedule change that has inconvenienced some West Island commuters.

“We want to make sure that we are still in the game,” said Lincoln. “There are some immediate actions that can and must be taken (in the West Island).”

Lincoln made the statements Monday at a news conference at the AMT’s Valois commuter train station. He was joined by Baie-d’Urfé Mayor Maria Tutino and other coalition members as well as local politicians running in the Nov. 3 municipal election.

In the wake of the series of recent provincial government announcements on public transit, including expanding the métro to Anjou, Lincoln said, the group wanted to make sure the public transit needs of the West Island remain a priority.

With the reconstruction of the Dorval Interchange and the Turcot Interchange not expected to be completed until possibly 2019, traffic congestion will continue to cost West Island commuters and businesses time and money.

And now the construction of a permanent reserved bus lane on eastbound Highway 20, east of Dorval Circle, has reduced the highway’s usual three lanes down to two, members of the group said.

“The only good thing is that public transit is now in the news,” Lincoln said.

On Sunday, Transport Minister Gaudreault said traffic congestion is costing the province more than $1.5 billion a year.

Making sure there is increased commuter rail service to the West Island — and not only express busses and reserved bus lanes — is the issue, said George Nydam, a founding member of the coalition.

“Not everyone wants to take a bus,” said Nydam. “Many people want to take the train.”

A $22-million study already completed on how to improve commuter rail service to the West Island and Vaudreuil area recommends a phased-in approach, said Tutino.

Additional trains on the existing line constitute the first phase, originally slated for 2015, but could easily be done in 2014, if the provincial government committed funding, she said: “We want to see some money down,” referring to an immediate financial commitment.

There is no “technical reason” to prevent three new train departures on the Vaudreuil-Hudson line in 2014, said Tutino, who also sits on an AMT management committee now preparing a plan to improve mobility in the West Island.

“We have a reserved corridor right here,” said Tutino, pointing to the tracks used for the Vaudreuil-Hudson line. “41.5 kilometres of track, let’s use it.”

Since August 2012, representatives of the AMT, the Société de Transport de Montréal (STM), Aéroports de Montréal (ADM), CN, CP and other stakeholders have been taking part in a working group that is developing a plan to improve mobility for the West Island.

Lincoln said the coalition wants to see that plan de mobilité l’Ouest de l’Île made public when it is completed in December and the Lucien l’Allier station made into a intermodal transport hub.

ccornacchia@montrealgazette.com

Twitter:cornacchiaGAZ

6 comments

  1. How about a couple of early trains on the weekend? No damn trains to downtown till 11:00, how the hell are you supposed to get to work if you start at 7:00. At least have a 6:00 train.

  2. By WI resident

    I signed a petition for better train service in the Fall of 2009. Why are things moving so slow? Go to the table with a solution and get it done.
    There needs to be a last train from Lucien l’Allier at 9:30 pm instead of 9:15 pm. It is difficult to get to the station if you finish your shift at 9 pm.

  3. I agree with Laszlo85.
    I would like that AMT study the possibility to organize a schedule train with a depart around 4:40 AM from Vaudreui to Lucien Allier (for the people who are starting to work at 6 or 6:30 AM)- (between 5-6 am on the higway are a lot of cars with one driver, I think this drivers can be converted for train clients with the condition for returning to add between 15:00 and 17:00, more 2 trains. At this point, the trains are reserved for the people who are working from 8 to 16, usualy the office workers in CentreVille…The people who are working in factories, or other works that are starting etc are neglicted deliberatly. AMT can organize 2 shifts for their employees, I dont think so is so difficult to ahire the personel for the departing at 4:30 AM from Vaudreuil. With the new woks at Turcotte Exchangeur and 40 it’s gona be hell on the 20 and 40 higways, everybody will be late. It’s gonna translate in frustrated parents to take the childrens till 18 pm from daycares, more burns-out at work places*absences’ and more pollution. So why don’t use the common sense? Cut the salaires of 1-2 political managers and directors named at AMT and put 4 more train drivers and more préposes, if the managers their aren’t doing their job, to organize optimaly the public transportation for all. It,s nice to have nice wagons but It would be nicer to have the possibilty to use them.

  4. By Pointe-Claire resident

    The buses are no match for the trains. Even with the new West Island express buses 405, 425, and 485, combined with the 211 and 411 I counted 27 buses during the morning peak (Dorval, 7:00-8:30am). With 47 people in a full bus you can fit 1269 people in all these buses combined. In reality there are fewer. The same amount can (and do!) sit in one double decker train with 9 coaches.

    At the same time between 7 and 8:30 there are 6 trains, some even with 10 coaches, carrying many more people than all those combined buses.

    Taking the lunch time trains you see that outside peak there is also demand. Certainly, I suppose for an hourly service (though not with 10-car double-deckers); there are countless services in Europe with far fewer users hat provide hourly/half-hourly service.

    However the usual problem are the freight trains. Even though there isn’t a freight train every 5 minutes (far from that!), they are many kilometers long, and CP wants to have ultimate flexibility in scheduling those trains, and as owners have the right to do so. Expensive solution: nationalize (let AMT buy) the WI tracks, force CN&CP freight trains to share the 4-6 tracks lying next to each other on much of the west island, done.

  5. Pingback: Numbers — not politics — is why the metro should extend toward the east first | Fagstein

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