UPDATED: Groups call for better access between Vendome metro, superhospital

Community groups say it's next to impossible to get to the new hospital from Vendome metro with limited mobility.
Tina Tenneriello/CJAD

The MUHC superhospital is set to open in a year, but the metro station that's closest to it isn't accessible to people with reduced mobility, and some community groups are trying to sway the provincial government into changing that.

More than 100 groups have signed an online petition to press the new Couillard government to pay for a second exit to the Vendome station, and to have a tunnel built linking the metro station and the hospital.

"There are going to be people with reduced mobility issues coming to this hospital," says Shannon Franssen, with the Concertation Interquartiers (CIQ), one of the groups who spearheaded the petition. "They can't easily get here by public transit."

She adds the original plans for the hospital included a tunnel, and can't understand why those plans appear to have been scrapped.

"It was always the MUHC's plan to have a second entrance built, so it's really unfathomable that even after all this time, after ten whole years of planning that the government still hasn't decided to finance the second entrance," she says.

Her group estimated it would cost up to $80 million to build a tunnel from the metro station to the $2 billion superhospital.

The MUHC confirms that a complete evaluation was done and sent to both the ministries of Health and Transport this winter.  Spokesperson Julie Paquet says the superhospital, STM and AMT needs 70 million from the government to create the second entrance.

The Ministry of Transport says the plan is still under evaluation and that the cost will be split with the MUHC, the STM and the AMT.  Spokesperson Sarah Bensadoun says there will be a temporarily solution built by the time the superhospital opens but it will not be all accessible.

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