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Monday, September 14, 2009

Montreal adds elevators at two 2 - Orange line stations

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The Société de transport de Montréal said Lionel-Groulx and Berri-UQAM métro stations are now equipped with elevators to reach the lower platform levels. As such, the STM is providing better access to all clients traveling along the Orange line, particularly those with functional limitations. The installation of elevators in these two stations, in addition to Cartier, De La Concorde and Montmorency stations, now brings the number of accessible stations on the Orange line up to five. Henri-Bourassa, Bonaventure and Côte-Vertu stations will also be equipped with elevators by early 2011.

Wheelchair users can request assistance from an STM escort, or aide, to enter and exit métro railcars, because of the gap between the platform and railcar threshold. Clients must go to the ticket counter level and tell the fare controller they wish to be escorted to the train. The aide will then be responsible for the client for the duration of the métro trip. They will take the elevator together and board the métro's lead car thanks to an access ramp extended by the aide.

It is also possible for wheelchair users to travel on their own. For security reasons, it is highly recommended that they board the lead car, so train operators can clearly see them. The STM further suggests that disabled users back their wheelchair up against the wall, apply the brakes on their chair and avoid maneuvering while the train is under way.

Only the 2 - Orange line is accessible, and the STM invites all clients in a wheelchair to pay attention while traveling, particularly at Lionel-Groulx station. In all, there are 17 elevators in five accessible stations on the 2 - Orange line: Lionel-Groulx, Berri-UQAM, Cartier, De la Concorde and Montmorency. Ridership at Lionel-Groulx: 3.9 million rides in 2008 
- Ridership at Berri-UQAM: 12.8 million rides in 2008

The renovations work currently underway is centered on five métro stations along the 2 - Orange line: Lionel-Groulx, Berri-UQAM, Bonaventure, Henri-Bourassa and Côte-Vertu. Estimated at nearly C$40 million for the five stations, including the $30 million invested by the MTQ, the work should be completed by winter 2010-2011.

In addition, the STM has implemented a series of measures to promote the accessibility of its system. Among them are the installation of textured, warning tiles along the edge of train platforms and yellow strips along the edge of the first and last step of staircases, improved ambient lighting inside stations and the securement of certain areas in the metro.

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