• James Armstrong

More parking spaces for Vaudreuil-Dorion train station


PHOTO BY JAMES ARMSTRONG

The announcement of funding for upgrades and repairs to the Vaudreuil commuter train station and rail line brought smiles to the faces of officials (left to right) ARTM Director Alexandre Eyquem, Hudson Mayor Jamie Nicholls, ARTM Director Manon Charest, Vaudreuil-Dorion Mayor Guy Pilon, Vaudreuil MNA Marie-Claude Nichols, and Member of Parliament for Vaudreuil-Soulanges Peter Schiefke.

Major funding for improvements to the Montreal/Hudson commuter train line and the Vaudreuil-Dorion train station parking facilities was announced on Tuesday, November 14. The five-part project totaling close to $15.2 million was announced by Member of Parliament for Vaudreuil-Soulanges Peter Schiefke and Member of the National Assembly Marie-Claude Nichols, Vaudreuil-Dorion Mayor Guy Pilon, and Hudson Mayor Jamie Nicholls. The project, jointly funded by the federal and provincial governments and the Autorité Régionale de Transport Métropolitain (ARTM), will provide an additional 300 parking spaces for commuters plus major renovations to the rail line and off island rail bridge.

“These investments are possible because of our government’s record $180 billion investment in infrastructure over the next decade. These investments are already having an impact in Vaudreuil-Soulanges,” said Schiefke in his opening remarks.

“The Quebec government was thinking of the needs of residents as it studied this project,” said Nichols, adding improvements in public transportation are highly important to both levels of government.

“I feel good,” was Pilon’s response as he thanked all the stakeholders for their support including the ARTM. “It has taken eight years to realize this project,” added Pilon. “This will free up 150 parking spaces at the Centre Multisports Vaudreuil-Dorion,” he said, gesturing to the adjacent sports centre that has supplied additional parking space over the years.

“This is a good day for Hudson. Fifty years ago this was a farmer’s field,” said Nicholls recounting how Hudson had once been a hub for public transportation in the area. “That era ended in the 1980s as people began to commute by automobile.” He said climate change increases the importance of public transportation. “This is foundational work that needs to be done to get to the next step.”

Permanent parking lot

Schiefke described how a proper drainage system, a paved surface, and lines indicating parking spaces would improve the lot. “Just indicating the parking spaces will increase the number of places because people don’t know where to park, currently,” he said.

The parking lots are located on both sides of the rail line and are currently surfaced with asphalt in some areas and gravel in others. Schiefke noted that due to a lack of proper drainage, pools of water form after heavy rain and snow melt adding to the parking problem.

Public safety

Currently, the Vaudreuil train station has a single platform on one side of the tracks. Commuters using the parking area on the Boîleau Street side have to use the pedestrian path at the level crossing on Boulevard de la Gare to reach the station platform. “The solution for that problem is to have platforms on both sides of the track because the train cars already have doors on both sides,” said Pilon adding it was not part of the current project.

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