By Rhonda Massad
The 10th Origin-Destination survey (OD) came back with high marks for Laval residents. The study that looked at the entire metropolitan area was conducted in the fall of 2013. Laval is the only city in the greater Montreal area that saw population grow faster than the number of vehicles during the past five years.
With the arrival of the metro, Laval saw an increase in the use of public transportation by 31 per cent compared to 2003.
“The significant developments such as the implementation of Horizon 65+ by the Laval Transit Authority (STL) as well as the presence of the metro generated a 28 percent growth in the use of public transit in Laval compared to 10 per cent for the entire metropolitan region,” STL president David de Cotis told The Suburban in an interview.
According to de Cotis, the population is aging and Laval is adapting public transport to match the needs of this new demographic.
“Travelling for free and being able to go anywhere at any time with no constraints is what the people of Laval want and it’s what we are offering with Horizon 65+,” De Cotis explained. “By giving them the means to be more mobile and autonomous, we are also ensuring equality between individuals and generations.”
The STL has not stopped at Horizon 65+. The STL’s fare policy also encourages families to use public transit. An adult who pays a regular fare during the week or on statutory holidays can be accompanied by up to five children under the age of 12 for free. This policy is also applicable on smog days between July 1 and Labour Day. The one dollar reduced fare on smog days during the summer period is a first in Quebec.
The yearly 20 million trips can now be monitored on Facebook and Twitter. The app My STL offers travelers the opportunity to receive updates about their regular bus lines and to find out what’s new at the STL.
“If we want to improve mobility in the greater metropolitan area, public transportation companies must continue to develop public transit,” de Cotis said, “I would like to see a transit lane along the north south highway 19 for buses that would take travelers directly to one of the three metro stations.
The Origin-Destination survey was conducted in partnership with the AMT (Agence métropolitaine de transport), AQTIM (Association québécoise du transport intermunicipal), CMM (Communauté métropolitaine de Montréal), MTQ (Ministère des Transports du Québec), RTL (Réseau de transport de Longueil), SRM (Secrétariat à la région métropolitaine), STM (Société de transport de Montréal) and the STL (Société de transport de Laval).
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