A sign of progress: installation of elevators at Du College metro underway
Published Wednesday, February 7, 2018 8:57PM EST
Last Updated Thursday, February 8, 2018 9:29AM EST
For Montrealers with limited mobility, progress takes form in the construction of two new elevators at the Du College metro station in Saint-Laurent.
It's part of a revitalization project by the STM, one that will see the construction of several elevators in metro stations across the city, with an end goal of making the city's transit system completely accessible and easy to navigate.
"We've been doing a retrofit of elevators for a dozen years already," explained Isabelle Tremblay, spokesperson for the STM. "But a year and a half ago, we got some subsidies from the government to accelerate."
Prior to receiving the financial boost from the government, the STM used funds from its regular maintenance program to implement accessibility improvements -- and it slowed the process down.
The elevators at Du College are expected to be ready and useable by the end of summer -- and its the only metro station with an workable elevator coming in the near future.
Start to finish, it usually takes a year and a half to two years to install an elevator in a typical metro station.
And for Montrealers with accessibility issues, the changes cannot come soon enough.
Linda Gauthier, and her organization RAPLIQ, were so frustrated that they filed a lawsuit against the STM three years ago over a lack of accessibility for the disabled.
While she's happy more elevators are in the works, she has doubts that the transit authority can keep its promise to make the entire system accessible by 2038.
"I can tell you 'this weekend, I'm going to the moon.' [But] it won't be possible. They can tell us everything, you know?" Gauthier said.
For the moment, a total of 12 metro stations are considered fully accessible.
The STM plans to begin work on five other stations before the end of the year.