Fate of Pincourt/Terrasse-Vaudreuil commuter station still undecided
By Carmen Marie Fabio
PHOTO BY CARMEN MARIE FABIO
Exo Public Transit Services, which operates the Vaudreuil-Hudson commuter rail line, has reached out to local users who want to keep the Pincourt/Terrasse-Vaudreuil station open with a proposal of three different options which are scheduled to be presented at a public consultation later this year.
With 802 signatures on the petition against closing the Pincourt/Terrasse-Vaudreuil commuter train station, Pincourt Vert spokesperson Shelagh McNally is asking why only one of the group’s suggestions was addressed in the recent correspondence from Exo Director General Sylvain Yelle.
“In response to the petition calling for a solution to keep the Pincourt-Terrasse-Vaudreuil station open, I would like to provide some details on Exo's intentions regarding the stations of Île-Perrot,” Yelle wrote to the group in a letter dated July 12. “I take note of the concerns of citizens who care about the future of their station and the quality of life in their neighbourhood and I hereby hope to be able to reassure them.”
The letter commends the group for demonstrating an interest in public transit but goes on to say the issue of the safety of public transport users and citizens cannot be ruled out.
Yelle says Exo, which operates the commuter rail line from Montreal to Vaudreuil/Hudson, has been concerned for years over the stations on the Island of Île-Perrot due to riders having to traverse several sets of tracks to reach the boarding platform. He reiterates that a decision has yet to be reached but, while in the ‘exploratory phase’ of the project, proffered the following scenarios which were presented to local officials in December 2020:
• A first option is to redevelop the two stations on Île-Perrot;
• A second is to completely redevelop just one of the two stations, including the construction of a footbridge or tunnel for safe crossing of the tracks, a new park-and-ride parking, and a new bus loop;
• Finally, a third possibility is to build a brand new station, between the two current stations. This option includes bus feeder solutions that respond in particular to concerns related to the potential for road congestion in the sector and to facilitate access to the station by bus with the creation of a terminus.
PHOTO BY CARMEN MARIE FABIO
Four sets of train tracks side by side daily accommodate freight, passenger, and commuter trains.
Users want to maintain status quo
McNally has pointed out that despite the petition and repeated feedback of elected officials and residents who want to keep the station open, Exo is still considering its potential closure.
“There is no way Exo can follow their mandate to transport people efficiently by making the entire population of Pincourt and Terrasse-Vaudreuil drive over to a train station whether it's in cars or buses,” McNally told The Journal. “The people of Île-Perrot will also have further to go if the train station is put at the end of Don-Quichotte and those currently biking or walking will have to drive or take buses. Putting more buses and cars on streets already suffering from chronic congestion serves no one and certainly won't make our communities a happy place. Why is Exo even considering the option of closing?”
Town wants safe passage
As reported in The Journal in July, 2020, the Town of Terrasse-Vaudreuil is anxious to have either an overpass or underpass built at the railroad crossing in Terrasse-Vaudreuil that would allow cyclists, pedestrians and emergency vehicles unimpeded access in a safe environment. “We’re still working with the provincial and federal governments and CN, CP and Exo,” said Mayor Michel Boudreault at the time. The projected cost was estimated to be between $5 million and $8 million.
Prior to making a final decision, Exo plans to organize a citizen meeting following consultations with the area municipalities. “This meeting will be an opportunity to recall the current situation, to specify the Exo approach by explaining the advantages and disadvantages of each of the option