Transport Quebec plans to invest more than $13.6 million in Laval public transit, Francine Charbonneau, the provincial cabinet minister for Laval, announced at a joint news conference with city officials, July 6.
The lion’s share of the money, $12,946,781, will permit the city’s transit authority, Société de transport de Laval (STL) to expand its bus garage to accommodate 60 more buses, said STL chairman David de Cotis, who also serves as vice-chairman of the city’s powerful executive committee.
With Laval’s rapidly growing population, city buses carried 28 per cent more rush hour commuters in 2013 than it did five years earlier in 2008, he reported.
“We have had to expand our network of bus routes accordingly,” de Cotis told The Suburban in an interview. Consequently, we need more space for the additional buses.”
He added that STL will use the remainder of the provincial subsidy, $688,491, to spruce up bus shelters across Île Jésus during the coming year, as well as to build new ones.
“The provincial government, through Transport Quebec, has agreed to subsidize 75 per cent of the cost,” said de Cotis.
The provincial grants help transport authorities like STL to undertake capital projects that will improve public transit like maintenance facilities and transit infrastructure.
“It’s a great opportunity for us at the STL to move forward, as we continually think up new avenues for future expansion so as better to serve our clients,” de Cotis enthused. “Effective public transit is a big part of what makes Laval the ideal place to live, to raise a family and to work.”
“Mayor Marc Demers’ administration is always looking for environment-friendly solutions,” he concluded, “and for this reason he has vigorously supported STL’s public transit initiatives.”