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ARTM studying ways to improve public transit between Greater Southwest and downtown

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Montreal's regional transit authority (ARTM) is studying six options to improve public transport between what's called the Greater Southwest and downtown.

One option on the table is the extension of Montreal's metro system towards the West Island. Lachine's mayor, Maja Vodanovic, says that option is a popular one.

"It's an interesting scenario and I looked on my Facebook page and it's the one that has the most likes," Vodanovic said. "We've put all the scenarios up so we can kind of foresee that that's what the people will want as well."

Vodanovic says a metro extension would likely reach the Galleries Lachine mall with a potential stop in the eastern part of Lachine.

"Lachine is growing like LaSalle is growing, like parts of Dorval are growing and we're in an enclave. We're between the canal and the train tracks and the highway. We only have three exits from Lachine and so you put more people, there's more people stuck at the exit," Vodanovic said.

The five other options have different routes and offer either bus or tramway. One option would be to connect Dorval to Square Victoria.

"The goal of this project is to link the territory together, but help people also get to the downtown area," said Patrick Charpentier, an ARTM project director.

The business community says a public transit project of this size would boost the local economy.

"Really think this is a game changer for the Greater Southwest, especially for Lasalle, Lachine," said Daphne Ferguson from PME MTL.

"One of the biggest challenges these days for businesses is recruitment, retention of staff and the lack of efficient public transport in certain areas of this territory is a major challenge for businesses."

The ARTM is holding public consultations on the matter and people can also provide comments online. The ARTM will present a final option to Quebec later this year. 

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