End of the line for Rigaud train service
The countdown is on for termination of more than a century of rail service in Rigaud.
The town, west of Montreal, has rejected major increases for commuter trains, opting instead to end service in June.
The AMT's Reynald Boisvert passed notices Tuesday to unhappy passengers, informing them the only departure, at 6:40 a.m., would cease June 30.
"Unfortunately, they're not happy," said Boisvert.
The decision was difficult, said Rigaud Mayor Real Brazeau, but council decided that after 111 years of service, they could no longer afford to run it.
A new contract cost $300,000 – nearly double what the town now pays.
A shuttle bus service to Hudson and Vaudreuil will replace the cancelled train, but that was little solace to some commuters Tuesday morning.
"I don't know what I'm gonna do when they stop the train," said Lisa McDermott. "It's gonna be hard on everyone."
Though about 40 Rigaud passengers travel to Vaudreuil, where there are more than two dozen daily trains, only about a dozen people on average get on at Rigaud, where there are only two trains -- one to and one back from Montreal.
One commuter, Nancy Lemieux, who works in Dorval, said if there was better service, more people would take it.
"I take it every day in the morning, then to come home at night, so it's going have a big impact on me. I moved out here especially for the train," she said.
AMT President Joel Gauthier agrees with Lemieux's assertion.
Gauthier said, like Hudson, it offered Rigaud at least three trains in each direction, on condition that the municipality start paying into the same infrastructure fund like others in the network.
"For us it was an issue because we had pressure from mayors of the surrounding region saying, ‘How come we pay for infrastructures, we pay for the gas tax, and Rigaud doesn't pay?'" he said.
Rigaud passengers said they understood why the city couldn't afford to continue service. Still, they're upset at the pending loss of service.
"What are you going to do now?" CTV's Herb Luft asked passenger Daniel Dube.
"Buy a car," he said.