Universal access: STM reports on its progress and presents its new Plan for 2016-2020
With its principal partners from the disabled community in attendance, Société de transport de Montréal (STM) reported on the progress it achieved these past few years with regards to universal access and presented its 2016-2020 development plan for universal access.
Montréal, March 7, 2017 – With its principal partners from the disabled community in attendance, Société de transport de Montréal (STM) reported on the progress it achieved these past few years with regards to universal access and presented its 2016-2020 development plan for universal access.
A universally-accessible transit system is of benefit to all customers, including those with functional limitations. For over two decades, STM has shown its commitment thanks to engaged staff and supportive partners. Since then, three action plans have been carried out and over 235 million dollars invested.
« The issue of universal access is very important for Montréal, especially in terms of getting around the city. Whether you need it for entertainment, going to work or school, services must be adapted to the needs of all, to make it easier for young families, for people in a wheelchair or whose motor functions are limited. I am proud of the commitments STM is making today to doing even more, going further, with more accessible stations and new installations that will ensure fast, easy and safe access for all public transit customers, » stated Aref Salem, executive committee member responsible for transportation for the city of Montréal.
Major progress achieved
STM presented a positive picture of its universal access development plan for 2012-2015, as it attained most of the targets that were set in five major areas of activity: bus service, métro system, fare sales and collection, communications and customer service, and employee training. Many results achieved are noteworthy: increased number of accessible bus stops and lines, two new stations equipped with elevators added to network and work getting underway in several others, the installation of tactile warning tiles in all stations, activation of audio function on all fare sales and collection equipment, better information for customers using accessible bus services and improved employee training.
A network increasingly accessible
As it ambitiously strives to make its transit system increasingly accessible, STM today presented its universal access development plan for 2016-2020, developed with the collaboration and support of tis partners in the disabled community. The plan revolves around three major areas for action.
Consolidating the deployment of universal access
STM will focus on improving how it integrates its principles with the company’s decision-making processes to ensure the former are taken into consideration with regards to all its programs, projects and interventions.
Speeding up accessibility work on métro stations
The pace of elevator installation work will double. Phase 1 of the accessibility program for the métro will extend from 2017 to 2022, at a cost of $213 M. Up to 14 stations will be equipped with elevators, bringing the number of accessible stations to 31 in 2022 with phases 3 and 4 of the Réno-Systèmes program. STM is aiming to have 41 accessible stations by 2025.
Expanding the areas for universal access interventions
STM will also pay special attention to the reliability of any accessibility measures it implements. Furthermore, it hopes to one day ensure obstacle-free access to transit and provide adequate information to customers in that regard. As the plan’s stated goal is to promote the use of the bus and métro system by customers with functional limitations, STM will also develop a strategy for informing and assisting current paratransit service users as well as all future ones. The 2016-2020 UA development plan is an important milestone on the road to universal access. It represents a series of tangible actions that will help STM achieve its vision for excellence in customer mobility.
Renewing its commitment
« Major progress has been achieved in the past few years with regards to STM’s universal access thanks to the support of our partners and the mobilization of our staff. We strive to go even further to ensure excellence in mobility for all customers by 2020. Indeed, we will be in a position to significantly pick up the pace thanks to massive investments in coming years, » said Philippe Schnobb, chairman of the STM board of directors, in closing.