Seniors to start riding buses free in May

By Robert Frank

Laval’s transit authority will deliver Mayor Marc Demers promise to the city’s seniors, starting in May.

During last year’s municipal campaign, he promised that Société de transport de Laval (STL) would waive its bus fare for senior citizens during rush hour.

However, the measure that city councillors approved when they ratified Laval’s 2014 budget during its Dec. 2 council meeting went much further, providing for seniors to travel free-of-charge at all times. However, the free fares haven’t been implemented yet.

“We have to do a lot of work before it starts,” explained STL spokeswoman Marie-Céline Bourgault. “We have had to take time to organize everything needed to provide the free service and to ensure that all the city’s senior citizens know that it’s available.”

She explained that STL intends to launch an advertising and information campaign, starting in late March or early April. The objective will be to advise all Laval residents that free transit service will be available to seniors commencing in May. It will also invite eligible residents who don’t yet have a senior’s pass to register to get one of the identification cards.

The registration process is slated to start in April.

“We plan to inform the population where they can get a card and what they need to do to obtain one,” Bourgault said. “We don’t know exactly how many people will take advantage of the new privilege, but we think that—if we commence in April—we ought to have enough time to furnish everyone who will need one with one of these identification cards.”

“New senior citizen cards will remain valid for a period of seven years,” she added.

Mayor Demers’ spokesman François Brochu told The Suburban that the free fare policy will only apply to Laval residents.

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