These stations are the 22nd and 23rd fully accessible stations in the métro network.
The Société de transport de Montréal (STM) has announced the commissioning of new elevators at Pie-IX and Villa-Maria stations, making them the 22nd and 23rd fully accessible stations in the métro network. The addition of elevators will benefit not only customers with functional limitations but also families with young children, elderly people, and travellers.
“I proudly commend the work that has been done to make Pie-IX and Villa-Maria stations accessible,” said Éric Alan Caldwell, Chair of the STM Board of Directors. “What we have accomplished in recent years to make métro stations accessible is monumental. With each lift installed, we change the daily lives of all our customers. It is therefore essential for us to continue our efforts, to maintain the pace to make accessible, gradually but surely, the forty remaining stations.”
Laurence Parent, Borough Councillor for the De Lorimier district and Vice-Chair of the STM Board of Directors, added, “Accessibility to our métro network is key, as it promotes not only the social inclusion of people with functional limitations, but also the development of the surrounding communities. And that is the very purpose of public transit: to connect all citizens to what the city has to offer.”
A fresh start for Pie-IX station
Since November 14, Pie-IX station now has four elevators to give customers easier access to the tourist and cultural attractions of Montréal’s east end, including the Olympic Park facilities and the Space for Life museums. With six bus lines, including one that connects to the Pie-IX BRT, Pie-IX station is also a major gateway to the métro network.
The project at Pie-IX station began in fall 2020 and involved work such as:
- Expanding the main and secondary entrance buildings
- Widening the underground corridor and building an additional staircase in the secondary entrance building
- Renovating the station, including replacing the waterproofing system covering the station’s underground roof, improving the lighting, installing new signage, and adding motorized butterfly doors
- Refurbishing and adding mechanical rooms
- Adding natural ventilation shafts
With an $81 million price tag, the work was completed on time and within budget through funding provided by the Ministère des Transports du Québec.
Given the scale of the worksite and the excavation work that was required, the STM acted as a work provider. It managed the projects on behalf of the City of Montréal to carry out municipal infrastructure work and refurbish Pierre-De Coubertin Avenue and Pie-IX Boulevard to accommodate the Pie-IX BRT.
This was the STM’s first multi-partner project since the passing of Bill 16 in December 2019. Using this approach, the STM was able to optimize the execution of the work, reduce to a minimum the number of construction sites, minimize the impact on citizens, and manage public funds efficiently.
The piece Point de mire by artist Francis Montillaud was selected through a public art competition and as per the “1% policy,” the Politique d’intégration des arts à l’architecture et à l’environnement des bâtiments et des sites gouvernementaux et publics. It will be installed at the station in spring 2023.
Located in the Côte-des-Neiges–Notre-Dame-de-Grâce borough, Villa-Maria station is fully accessible with three elevators now installed. The work cost $24,6 million and involved extending both sides of the platforms and expanding the western façade of the entrance building.
Since Villa-Maria station is a major mobility hub in the Notre-Dame-de-Grâce neighbourhood, adding elevators to the station will broaden the travel options for customers.
The project involved installing the elevators and completing work such as:
- Adding natural ventilation shafts in the entrance building’s expanded west side
- Upgrade the bus loop located behind the station
- Redesigning the turnstiles
- Replacing the entrance building’s butterfly doors, some of which are now motorized, for easier access to the station
Marianne Chevalier’s artwork La correspondance des strates, which was planned as part of the 1% policy, was unveiled in September 2022. Composed of shapes arranged above the four openings leading to the elevators connecting the walkway to the station platforms, the piece also acts in symbiosis with the large, molded dials originally designed by architect André Léonard.
Click on the image to download it in high resolution. Photo credits: Julien Perron-Gagné.
2022: an important year for the accessibility of métro stations
With four stations made accessible to date, 2022 is an important year for the STM’s accessibility program. There are currently eight other station accessibility worksites active at Angrignon, Berri-UQAM (Yellow line), Édouard-Montpetit, D’Iberville, Jolicoeur, McGill, Outremont, and Place-Saint-Henri. The STM is currently working to determine the next steps in the program, based on the feasibility of the infrastructure projects, asset maintenance needs, and available funding.
Since last October, the STM’s trip planner can generate wheelchair-accessible routes if customers check the appropriate option. The routes generated will only include those that feature buses with a front ramp, accessible stops, and métro stations with elevators.
The Accessibility program is made possible through the additional funding announced by the federal and provincial governments to speed up accessibility work.