Third bus line gets wheelchair access
Little progress has been made in enforcing reserved handicapped parking at Laval Metro stations.
In April, The Suburban reported that motorists routinely occupy reserved but poorly marked handicapped parking spots there.
Last week, Laval resident Bruce Alan Gordon, who first reported the persistent problem, told the newspaper that there has been no effort to restore faded markings, paint the pavement in the handicapped spaces blue and make signage more conspicuous.
“I confirm that nothing has been done with the handicapped parking spaces,” Gordon said.
“Sadly, I do not think that this was taken seriously.”
Municipal and police officials told The Suburban that there is a limit to what the city can do to improve the situation for mobility challenged Metro users, because the stations’ parking lots instead fall under the ambit of Agence métropoliaine de transport (AMT), the Montreal region transit authority.
Meantime, the city’s public transit authority, Société de transport de Laval (STL), continued to improve handicapped access by making a third bus line wheelchair-accessible.
Since last month, commuters who rely on wheelchairs and scooters to get around can board the number 20 bus at any time of day.
The line brings Chomedey residents to the Cartier Metro station. Last November, STL made its number 39 and number 60 bus lines wheelchair accessible.
“Our goal is to gradually extend this service to all the bus lines on our network, by increasing the number of buses with front-end access ramps,” STL chairman David de Cotis said in a statement.
The service requires the mobility challenged commuter to enter and exit the bus by themselves or with the help of a companion.
“For safety reasons, drivers are not allowed to leave their seat, so this service will be used as a complement to our paratransit service,” added de Cotis, who also serves as vice-chairman of the city’s executive committee. “People who require assistance will need to take this into consideration and opt for the type of transit that best suits their needs.”
Some stops are not amenable to embarking or disembarking the wheelchairs and other mobility devices. STL encouraged users to plan their route in advance of traveling. To help them do so, it has provided a list of which stops are accessible is available on a helpful English-language page on its web site, located at: www.stl.laval.qc.ca/en/bus/regular-network-accessible-stops/
A detailed user guide to the service is also available by calling STL’s customer service line at  688-6520.