Vendôme wheelchair access 'technically impossible' for now

The STM says it's still possible that the new Vendôme metro station will eventually be more accessible but, for now, officials say that accommodating wheelchairs would be impossible.

STM in talks with Quebec government to obtain more funding for second, more accessible entrance

STM spokeswoman Amélie Régis said plans for a wheelchair-accessible entrance to Vendôme station depend on provincial funding. (CBC)

Montreal's transit corporation (STM) says the new Vendôme metro station may eventually be more accessible but, for now, officials say that providing a wheelchair-friendly entrance is impossible.

The STM is planning to re-design the crucial transit hub as the McGill superhospital nears completion.

The station is expected to see a major increase in traffic once the new hospital, which is located right next door, is finished. The station does not currently have an elevator or escalator. 

AmélieRégis, spokeswoman for the STM, said it's simply impossible to build an elevator to allow wheelchair access at the Vendôme metro station. 

“It’s an engineering issue. It’s not only a financial issue. The way that the station was made, it’s technically impossible to build an elevator," she said.

Disabled rights advocate Laurent Morissette said this will make life difficult for patients who have to go to the hospital.

"If they cannot access it securely with the elevators ... it causes problems," Morissette said. 

Régis said it's possible a second, more accessible, entrance could be built, but that would be expensive.

"It's a lot of money to build a second entrance," Régis said. 

She said the STM is in the middle of discussions with the Quebec government to find out if that funding is available. 

The McGill University Health Centre said a feasibility study on a second entrance is almost complete and will be submitted to the government for approval.

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