Côte-Vertu Metro station to see 8,000-passenger increase during rush hour
Shuttle buses to Côte-Vertu are part of mitigation measures to deal with closure of the Mount Royal Tunnel
Côte-Vertu Metro station — the last stop on the western branch of the Orange line — is about to see a large increase in foot traffic.
As part of measures to help deal with the closure of the Mount Royal Tunnel next year, shuttle buses carrying passengers from the Bois-Franc train station will begin heading for Côte-Vertu in groups of three, from 5:30 a.m. to 12:45 a.m.
That means approximately 8,000 more people than usual will frequent the station during morning and evening rush times.
The station already has nearly two dozen bus lines that stop there.
The tunnel's two-year closure will have a major impact on the routes of users of the Deux-Montagnes and Mascouche train lines, but officials say it's necessary to build the $6.3-billion light-rail network, slated to be fully up and running by 2023.
The measures, including the shuttle buses, are set to be in place by Jan. 6, 2020.
The Bois-Franc–Côte-Vertu line will be called Shuttle 964. Its route will be synchronized with the departures and arrivals of the rail shuttle, and it will take reserved lanes on Grenet Street during rush hours. Travel time is expected to be about 15 minutes.
Philippe Schnobb, chair of Montreal's transit authority (STM), says changes have been made at Côte-Vertu to ensure it can accommodate more passengers.
"We are running two more trains on the Orange line — we started that a few weeks ago — so that will have an impact on capacity," Schnobb said.
He said the STM has teams following the situation in case more buses are needed.
Alan DeSousa, borough mayor of Saint-Laurent, says the station is already very congested.
"The [transport] minister announced today that there are discussions going on with Canadian National, and if those decisions bear fruit, you will likely have the Train de l'est, the Mascouche line, going on an alternative route that would be close to the Du College Metro station," he said.
Another option, DeSousa said, would be to have buses bring people to that site or to De La Savane Metro station.
Côte-Vertu is set to close for 11 weeks starting in summer 2020, as the STM builds an underground garage for the buses that use the station as a terminal.
"We know Côte-Vertu is going to be closing down next year anyway, so if we're going to have alternative trajectories, let's explore what those other sites might be," DeSousa said.
With files from Sean Henry