AMT reviewing transportation network in the West Island

Anthony Abbondanza
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The AMT is reviewing a mutually exclusive three-scenario plan to improve the transportation network in the West Island.

During an annual meeting with local journalists last week at Holiday Inn in Pointe Claire, Nicolas Girard said the needs of West Islanders will eventually be met with the AMT’s ‘West Island Mobility Plan’ (PMO), a study which could restructure the region’s transportation network.

“It’s clear the West Island needs to be better served. It’s a priority for this government,” said Girard.

Along with a gamut of AMT projects, the three-scenario plan, which was developed by a 13-member committee, including Baie D’Urfe Mayor Maria Tutino, was outlined last week during a public consultation meeting at the Pointe Claire hotel. 

The three scenarios are mutually exclusive: bus-dominated transportation network; train-dominated transportation network; or a light rail system, which could potentially include the addition of a rail line devoted to passenger-only transit, akin to the Train de l’Ouest proposal.

“This is our ‘match plan,’ Girard added.

Once the AMT determines the result of its study of the three-scenario plan, the transport authority will present its recommendation, which could actually exclude the Train de l’Ouest project, to Quebec Transportation Minister Robert Poeti.

Serving close to four million people a year, the Vaudreuil-Hudson line is one of five railroads in the AMT transit network – a network in dire need of added service, not more committees and studies, said the Coalition for the Train de l’Ouest spokesperson Clifford Lincoln.

“We’re not interested in all these permutations…various plans ‘abcd,’ and all that stuff,” said Lincoln.

Instead, the former federal MP said all efforts should be focused on improving the local insufficient rail transit to the standards experienced by other cities in and around the Greater Montreal Area (GMA.)

“Why should we be disadvantaged all the time? We’re supposed to be the ‘fat cats’ on the West Island. What reason is there not to have equivalent service,” Lincoln added, comparing the Vaudreuil-Hudson line to the Deux-Montagne line, which has twice the service.

Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard described the Train de l’Ouest project as “high priority” before, during, and after his successful electoral campaign in March and April. The Liberal government, said Lincoln, is the only body that can make the highly-coveted, passenger-only rail line – running from Vaudreuil to downtown, Montreal and back – a reality.

“We’re very stubborn and dedicated. We’re not going to quit until we get it,” said Lincoln.

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Organizations: AMT, Holiday Inn, Pointe Claire hotel Coalition for the Train

Geographic location: West Island, Pointe Claire, Quebec Greater Montreal Area Vaudreuil Montreal

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