Possible closure of Terrasse-Vaudreuil commuter train station rankles residents
By John Jantak
Citizens in Île-Perrot have taken to social media to express their outrage about the possible closure of the Exo Terrasse-Vaudreuil/Pincourt train station due to safety concerns. In a statement posted on the Terrasse-Vaudreuil website, Mayor Michel Bourdeau said the study is currently in the preliminary stage and nothing has yet been determined.
Bourdeau stated that Exo along with its four municipal partners – the municipalities of L’Île-Perrot, Notre-Dame-de-l’Île-Perrot, Pincourt and Terrasse-Vaudreuil – are looking into the possibility of improving safety at both train stations on the island including L’Île-Perrot train station which is only 2.3 kilometers away.
“In particular, we are trying to resolve the safety issue regarding the crossing of the four railway tracks to make it easier to reach the station in Terrasse-Vaudreuil,” stated Bourdeau. “It’s about finding solutions to remedy the dangerous behaviour observed in the field. The project also aims to improve the quality of the infrastructure, improve customer experience and review the mobility needs of the sector.”
The mayor said the project is currently in the preliminary stage. “The purposed of this step is to explore, analyze, and compare the different possible scenarios according to needs in order to retain the optimal scenario,” said Bourdeau.
The scenarios include the possible redevelopment of the two existing train stations, the redevelopment of only one of the two current stations which would result in the closure of one of the stations, or the development of a new single adjoining station.
Each of the four municipalities on Île-Perrot would then vote on the option they favour the most. After the approval process is completed the project will be submitted to the population as part of a public consultation process which remains to be determined. Bourdeau stated Exo is still in the preliminary planning stage of the project and that, “Many steps will have to be taken before it is realized,” he said.
Maintain the status quo
Terrasse-Vaudreuil Director General Ron Kelley also reiterated that no decisions have yet been made regarding the future of the train stations. “For sure there’s a process going on regarding what’s going to happen long-term,” he said.
“We’ve been pushing for the past couple of years for Exo to do something to make our train station more secure. There’s no sidewalk across the train tracks. We asked for a tunnel to be put there to make it safe for all citizens. The municipality has not said in any way that we want to give up our train station,” said Kelley.
PHOTO BY JOHN JANTAK
The potential closure of the commuter train station in Terrasse-Vaudreuil is just one possible scenario currently being examined by Exo as it tries to determine the best solution to improve passenger safety and rail service across Île-Perrot.
Social media response
Residents who rely on the station to travel to Montreal quickly mobilized and formed the Facebook page ‘NON à la fermeture de la gare de Pincourt Terrasse-Vaudreuil’ which currently has 325 members.
“It’s not good public planning to close the station,” wrote Pincourt resident Shelagh McNally. “The 12,000 residents here already encounter traffic problems.” And, in a post directed at the Exo organization, she asked, “Have you seen the parking lot (at the Île-Perrot station)? Has anyone in your organization done any research?”
Exo scheduled a two-hour virtual public information session for Wednesday evening, March 31, after The Journal’s press deadline. Exo has said it will respond to questions live, time permitting, or would be the subject of a written response.
Federal financial assistance possible
Peter Schiefke, the federal Member of Parliament for Vaudreuil-Soulanges also made his voice heard regarding the possible station closure by making a post on the Pincourt Peeps! Facebook page saying that federal money could be made available to help improve safety at the two train stations on Île-Perrot.
“In regards to the train lines and stations, my goal has always been to improve and increase the accessibility of public transit in our community and have secured over $30 million in joint funding to do just that. The expanded Vaudreuil train station is a good example,” said Schiefke.
“I also met with Exo with regards to stations on Île-Perrot and reinforced the fact that federal funding may be available to improve or expand on them, but at the end of the day the decision is one that they and the cities will make. The more they hear from you and others who have concerns, the more likely the final decision they make will be reflective of it,” Schiefke added.