Lots of good news for customers
with new service improvements!
Montreal, June 19, 2008 – Mr. Claude Trudel, Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Société de transport de Montréal (STM), today announced a new series of measures to increase bus service on several routes as of Monday, June 23.
“These initiatives, which form part of the service improvement program begun in 2007, demonstrate in a meaningful way that public transit is flourishing”, declared Mr. Trudel. “Financed in equal parts by the ministère des Transports du Québec and the City of Montréal, this program will enable us to carry out our ambitious business plan, which is in line with the Quebec Public Transit Policy aimed at increasing the service offer by 16% in order to boost ridership by 8% over the next five years”.
The bus and métro network posted an increase of 4.2 million trips as of April 30, 2008, in comparison with the same period last year, representing a 3.7% growth in ridership. More than 90% of this increase is attributable to the métro network, which recorded 3.8 million additional trips compared to the same period in 2007. This increase can be explained by a number of factors including the opening of the three Montréal métro stations in Laval in the spring of 2007 and the 17% service increase in January 2008 on métro lines 1, 2 and 5, mainly outside rush hour.
A new bus service in Old Montréal
The Société will serve Old Montréal as well as the Old Port and a segment of downtown through the implementation of a new bus route. Line 515 – Vieux-Montréal/Vieux-Port will be in service year-round from 7:00 a.m. to midnight. In order to enable clients, and more specifically tourists, to easily spot the stops for this route, the identification panels will sport a yellow band.
The buses will follow a route in both directions from the Info-Touriste centre located at Dorchester Square. Eastbound, they will provide a link between the downtown hotels on Ren�-L�vesque and the Berri-UQAM métro station and will continue via de la Commune to serve the municipal buildings and City Hall as well as the residential sector of Old Montreal and the Old Port. Westbound, also from the Info-Touriste centre, the buses will take Metcalfe and Peel Streets and then continue along de la Commune to Berri, via the Berri-UQAM métro station. They will then take Ren�-L�vesque Boulevard back to the Info-Touriste centre, serving the hotel sector. A reserved lane eastbound on de la Commune is also planned during the summer period from June 15 to September 15 between 9:00 a.m. and 10:00 p.m. to facilitate the flow of passenger traffic.
“The creation of this route will facilitate travel for residents and workers in this historic sector as well as for the tourists who visit it”, stated the Chairman of the Board. “This service is also likely to attract new clients, with our analyses suggesting ridership of several thousand clients over the next few years, most notably during the summer period”.
The STM will make potential clients aware of the new line through a promotional campaign that will be gradually deployed in collaboration with the Société de d�veloppement commercial du Vieux-Montréal, the Société du Vieux-Port and Tourism Montréal. Information will be available via Old Montréal brochures and tourist cards, the Old Port’s calendar of events, backlit posters in some twenty métro stations, brochures designed for clients in the targeted sectors as well as on various Web sites, the métrovision screens and the Télécité displays in the métro.
Express routes in service throughout the day
In October 2007, the STM increased the service on lines 194 – métrobus Rivières-des-Prairies and 470 – Express Pierrefonds on weekdays, representing more than 11 000 hours of additional service. These measures generated satisfaction rates of 80% and 95% respectively.
Building on this success, the STM will increase service on lines 159 – métrobus Henri-Bourassa, 173 – métrobus Victoria, 190 – métrobus Lachine, 199 – métrobus Lacordaire, 420 – Express Notre-Dame-de-Grâce, 430 – Express Pointe-aux-Trembles and 268 – Trainbus Pierrefonds. Already valued by clients during rush hour, these express routes will now run Monday to Friday from the morning until the end of the afternoon.
“These new measures are designed to significantly improve the direct express routes to downtown and the métro network by providing more service during off-peak hours, thus saving considerable time for clients”, explained Mr. Trudel. “The increase of close to 40 000 hours of service is in response to the rise in the number of trips at this time of day, particularly due to the variable schedules of workers and students”.
In addition to increasing the service in both directions on line 268 – Trainbus Pierrefonds on weekdays outside rush hour, the STM will extend this line to the Côte-Vertu métro station so as to provide a link with métro line 2 – orange at all times. In fact, a study on service improvement in the West Island illustrated the appropriateness of extending the line in order to enable clients, including students at C�gep Gerald-Godin, to reach their destination more quickly.
The STM is also adding service in the West Island on lines 210 – John Abbott and 219 – Chemin Sainte-Marie. Line 210, previously reserved for John Abbott College students on school days only, will now provide service for everyone Monday to Friday from the morning until the end of the afternoon. As for line 219, it will follow a more direct route in order to better serve clientele in the Baie-d'Urf� industrial park.
Finally, the STM will expand the schedule of line 11 – Montagne so that the last trip coincides with the closing hours of Mount-Royal Park. This measure will thus extend the hours of access to the park until the end of the evening, greatly benefiting park visitors.
“All these sectors constitute major population pools with a good potential for growth in terms of ridership”, stated Mr. Trudel. “In 2008, the STM is also carrying out a tour of the 34 boroughs and cities linked to the island of Montréal in order to discuss with elected officials their respective public transit service offers and to evaluate areas of improvement on a continuous basis, a gesture that is greatly appreciated by those involved”.
In support of the City of Montréal’s transportation plan to improve access to bicycles, the STM will acquire 350 parking spaces adjacent to métro stations in 2008, bringing the total number of spaces to close to 2 000.
“More than ever, public transit represents an excellent alternative to automobile use, which is beneficial for the environment and for reducing automobile congestion”, concluded the Chairman of the Board of Directors. “What’s more, the increase in ridership on our network is an excellent example of a new trend, particularly because of the dramatic increase in the price of gas that we have seen over the past few months. Thus, our service improvement program, in line with the five-year business plan, will have the effect of not only increasing our service offer but also of adapting our network to the specific needs of each sector”.
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