Almost 6000 Park and Ride spots disappear from REM light rail plans

Parking may become a problem once the light rail REM system is up and running.

Nearly 6000 incentive parking spaces have been quietly removed from the plans, including the big parking lots announced for Kirkland and Pointe Claire. The initial plans in 2016 had just over 15,400 parking spots at Park and Ride lots.

REM project spokesman Harout Chitilian told CJAD 800 they're discussing with private developers and the Rio Can and Fairview Pointe Claire malls about adding more parking in the areas where mixed use projects may be developed including residences and businesses.

"It's not off the table -  it's just that it's a work in progress. It's a live engineering project and it will go through multiple iterations until its final delivery," said Chitilian.

Chitilian said more buses will be deployed once the light rail is up and running.

Pierrefonds-Roxboro mayor Jim Beis remains optimistic but...

"When you have older folks, when you have families, when you have kids that are going to two or three different schools, you have parents that are scrambling to try to do all of that at the same time. pubic transit isn't as available as you like it," said Beis in an interview with CJAD 800.

Mayor of Ste-Anne-de-Bellevue Paola Hawa said they were counting on the Kirkland REM station parking lot.

"Ste Anne's is going to become the hotspot for people looking for parking and with only 200 spots (in Ste Anne), I'm not looking forward to seeing what the outcome is going to be on that one," said Hawa.

DDO resident Josee Riopel is concerned since she lives right near the future REM station.

"I will be affected because people park on the street and they block our entrance," said Riopel.

Riopel got a job in Laval, giving up on the idea of taking the REM downtown considering the potential hassles of having to take a bus to get to it.

"What is the point of having a light rail metro every five minutes if the buses are still every 15 minutes," said Riopel.

Pierrefonds resident Daniel Khoury agrees.

"I think it's a very disconnected opinion in terms of how we live in the West Island, how West Islanders commute currently today," said Khoury.

The Deux Montagnes REM station will keep the same number of parking spaces and will no longer have an extra 700 spots.

The Panama REM station in Brossard will have about 200 spaces instead of the previously announced 700. There are currently 1000 spots.