A brillant fall at the STM
A new series of service improvments
Montreal, August 27, 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 service on the bus and métro networks as of September 2. Before proceeding with the announcement of the fall service improvements, the Chairman was eager to review the measures implemented since last January.
« The review of ridership on the bus and métro network for the first six months of 2008 is very promising. It indicates that our efforts are bearing fruit, with the number of trips on the STM’s network in the Greater Montréal area rising by 7.5 million in comparison with the same period last year. This represents an increase of 4% », Mr. Trudel stated proudly. «A number of factors should be taken into account in explaining this new trend, not the least of which are the various service improvement measures, as the results prove in our opinion. As for other factors, we should mention the opening of the three Montréal métro stations in Laval in the spring of 2007 as well as the increase in the price of fuel ».
More excellent news. From January to September inclusively, the STM will have added close to 100 000 hours of service on the bus network, including more than 30 000 hours in September. The early results on the measures implemented outside rush hour this year are also encouraging overall. In fact, certain bus lines have seen a ridership increase of up to 50%, and the customer satisfaction rate, measured on these lines over this period, has risen. In addition, the service increase of 17% in January 2008 on métro lines 1, 2 and 5, principally outside rush hour, continues to show excellent results.
« It appears evident that, through the implementation of our service improvement program, we are on the way to achieving the objectives set by the Quebec Public Transit Policy. » stated the Chairman of the Board. Mr. Trudel reaffirmed that this initiative, financed in equal parts by the ministère des Transports du Québec and the City of Montréal, is targeted at increasing the service offer by 16 % so as to increase ridership by 8% over the next five years.
Express routes in service throughout the day
With added service to provide greater scheduling flexibility for current transit users as well as to attract new users, express routes and métrobuses with high ridership will now make extra departures at the start and end of rush hour periods. This service increase affects lines 143 métrobus Charleroi, 148 métrobus Maurice-Duplessis, 159 métrobus Henri-Bourassa, 173 métrobus Victoria, 182 métrobus Sherbrooke, 184 métrobus Bout-de-l’île, 190 métrobus Lachine, 199 métrobus Lacordaire, 268 Trainbus Pierrefonds, 410 Express Notre-Dame, 420 Express Notre-Dame-de-Grâce, 430 Express Pointe-aux-Trembles and 460 métropolitaine.
In addition, line 470 Express Pierrefonds, which continues to attract new users since the recent service additions, will now provide rapid service to the métro until 6:30 p.m. daily, including weekends.
« The express services, which bring clients downtown more quickly without the need to transfer, support the métro network and are much appreciated by clients during rush hour. », explained the Chairman of the Board. « In addition, the improvements on the métrobus lines are linked to the addition of service on the métro network outside rush hour ».
Lines serving commercial arteries
The Société is also improving the service on targeted commercial arteries, which translates into a greater frequency of buses and more comfort in terms of space for transit users travelling with their purchases. The buses on lines 47 Masson, 95 B�langer, 97 Mont-Royal, 103 Monkland and 140 Fleury will now run more often between rush hours on weekdays and throughout the day on Saturdays and Sundays, thus making shopping easier on the various commercial streets involved.
Lines in service later at night
In order to harmonize bus service with the last métro departure, the STM will extend the hours of service in the evening on lines 29 Rachel, 31 St-Denis, 61 Wellington, 78 Laurendeau and 138 Notre-Dame-de-Grâce.
Lines in service earlier on Sundays in the West Island
Several lines on the network serving the western sector of the island of Montréal will see their transit offer increased with service starting at 7:00 a.m. on Sunday mornings. The routes involved are line 200 Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue, 201 Saint-Charles/St-Jean, 202 Dawson, 203 Carson, 204 Cardinal, 206 Roger-Pilon, 207 Jacques-Bizard, 208 Brunswick and 217 Anse-�-l’Orme. This initiative is targeted, in particular, at changing the travel habits of automobile users by making public transit more accessible to them. In short, the STM wants to promote the use of public transit in a sector where its use is lower than in the central sectors.
Launch of shuttles for senior citizens
The STM is also offering a completely new service targeted primarily at senior citizens living in residences in three Montréal boroughs. Lines 252 Navette Or Montréal-Nord, 253 Navette Or Saint-Michel and 254 Navette Or Rosemont will make public transit trips in their sectors easier for seniors as of September 2.
The routes will serve several senior citizens’ residences as well as the principal local points of interest for this clientele, including shopping plazas and health, recreational and community centres. To enable shuttle users to easily recognize the stops for these lines, the route number will be displayed on a gold background on the bus stop panels.
On the one hand, the bus providing service on line 252 Navette Or Montréal-Nord will run Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, between 9:30 a.m. and 3:15 p.m., at approximately 50-minute intervals. On the other hand, due to the particular routes taken by the shuttles, the service on lines 253 Navette Or Saint-Michel and 254 Navette Or Rosemont will use a 14-seat minibus, which offers more flexibility than a traditional bus. Line 253 runs on Wednesdays and Fridays, between 9:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., at approximately 80-minute intervals, while line 254 runs Mondays, Wednesdays and Thursdays, between 9:30 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., at approximately 65-minute intervals.
« This new shuttle service was created expressly to respond to the specific needs of senior citizens with regard to travel in their area and to encourage their participation in community life », stated Mr. Trudel. « Consultation with the community, in particular with representatives from various local organizations, brought this project to fruition. »
A new service between downtown and Nuns’ Island
As of September 15, the Société will introduce line 480 Pointe-Nord – Île-des-Sœurs, to serve a sector of downtown as well as the new Bell Campus. This new line will be in service from Monday to Friday between 6:00 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. and between 3:15 p.m. and 6:30 p.m.
During morning rush hour, the buses will take a southbound route from the first stop located at the Lucien-L’Allier train station. They will make two other downtown stops to link up Central Station and métro line 2 – orange, and will continue on to serve the Cité du Multim�dia, the municipal buildings on Brennan Street and finally the Bell Campus. Northbound, the buses will follow the same route in reverse.
Public taxi service Campus Bell/Place du commerce Île-des-Sœurs
The public taxi will provide service on a loop between the Bell Campus and the businesses at the Place du commerce on Nuns’ Island. In order to provide the maximum flexibility for users, the service will not require advance reservations and will be offered continuously at midday, Monday to Friday, from 11:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. During this period, a taxi running every 10 minutes will link the Bell Campus with various stops at the Place du commerce. This service is in partnership with Bell, which is sharing the operating costs with the STM.
Addition of a car on line 2 - orange during morning and afternoon rush hours
Due to the ridership increase on the orange line, the STM is adding a métro car on this line to spread service more efficiently throughout the network. As of September 2, a total of 34 trains will run on average every 3 minutes 40 seconds during morning and afternoon rush hour periods, between 7:30 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. and between 4:00 p.m. and 6:00 p.m. At peak times during these periods, that is, at 8:15 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., the minimum interval will still be 2 minutes 40 seconds.
This initiative results, on the one hand, from the optimization of the inspection and maintenance procedure that freed up three cars and, on the other hand, from the redistribution of métro cars from the network onto line 2 - orange. Six cars from line 4 – yellow were also added to this line. The frequency on this line will improve by close to one minute with the addition of a six-car train (five trains instead of four). This operation also allows us to use exclusively re-designed MR73 cars on the orange line, thus providing access to individuals with reduced mobility in some stations.
In closing, the Chairman added, « With all this good news that I’ve just shared with you, I’m sure you can appreciate the numerous efforts undertaken by the STM to provide its clientele with an exceptional service offer. »
« I am also pleased to announce that between now and the end of the year, we will be taking delivery of 105 new buses and that in 2009 we will acquire some 350 new buses, including articulated buses, which will no doubt enable us to continue our service improvements and concentrate particularly on increasing service during rush hour » proudly concluded the Chairman of the Board.
– 30 –