By Daniele Iannarone
For Erica Fox, braving the poor road conditions to walk to the nearest bus stop is a challenge.
The Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue resident is going public about her struggles in trying to get Exo’s 35 bus, headed to Pincourt/Dorion, to stop in Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue village. As it stands now, Fox is forced to walk 20 minutes to the nearest bus stop, located beside John Abbott College.
“Who wants to have to walk 20 minutes in this mess with the possibility of falling and breaking something?” says Fox, noting that walking has been particularly difficult over the past few weeks as the winter weather has been unpredictable. She fears that walking amid snowstorms, extreme cold or on icy roads is especially challenging for elderly citizens like herself.
Exo’s 35 bus does stop in the village, but only when travelling in the direction opposite Pincourt. The bus does not stop anywhere near the main intersection of Saint-Pierre Street and Sainte-Anne Street in the direction of Pincourt/Dorion. Exo’s Tarek Ali says there is no stop because the streets in the village can be quite busy, and that there is a conflict with the STM bus stop, making it difficult to put into place a bus stop of their own.
Ali says that Exo has taken note of Fox’s complaint, and that the company will study the feasibility of setting up a stop in the village later this month. He says any decision to set up a new bus stop must be approved by the city of Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue.
Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue Mayor, Paola Hawa, says that she would be open to this new bus stop, but Exo would need to submit a formal request, and the city would then conduct its own analysis. Hawa did not offer to provide some other form of service in the interim to assist residents in getting to the nearest bus station that’s already available.
While we wait to see whether a bus stop will be set up or not, Fox says she’s just frustrated that this whole process is taking this long. “For seven months I’ve been fighting to get one stop in the village,” she says. “It’s ridiculous.”