Trolleybus in Laval?


    LAVAL, QC, March 16 /CNW Telbec/ - Once again affirming its leadership in
sustainable transportation, the Société de transport de Laval (STL) will be
conducting a study to examine the feasibility of a system of trolleybuses on
its territory, in partnership with Hydro-Québec. Quebec's Ministère des
Transports will also be providing financial assistance to conduct this study.
    As it may be recalled, trolleybuses run on tires, as buses do, but they
are powered by an electric motor, like streetcars. Trolleybuses are supplied
with electricity by two overhead contact lines. The electricity is picked up
by a pair of long poles located on the roof of the vehicle and this gives the
trolleybus approximately four metres of lateral freedom of movement so that it
can maneuver in urban traffic without any problem. A lot of modern
trolleybuses are also equipped with an auxiliary (back-up) motor or with
batteries in order to be able to move at a reduced speed in spaces that don't
have any overhead lines-in the case of a detour for roadwork, for example.
    Trolleybuses in Laval wouldn't be the first on Quebec's landscape, as
trolleys operated on the streets of Montreal from March 1937 to June 1966. If
this project materializes, the network of trolleybuses in Laval would become
the 7th of its kind in North America. One of the best known, and the largest
on our continent, is the one in Vancouver. Today, there are over 340
trolleybus networks in the world.
    The infrastructures required by trolleybuses are relatively light, as
these buses use only the road and overhead lines; however, they are
increasingly operated within corridors where a high level of service is
required, and the infrastructures are therefore heavier (reserved lanes or
routes where there is an exclusive right-of-way, stops with a big bus shelter,
passengers information systems in real time, priority traffic lights, etc.).
    The trolleybus-a complement to the present means of transportation
(commuter train, metro and bus)-could serve the major arteries in Laval, near
where some 45,000 households are located, on Des Laurentides, Notre-Dame, De
La Concorde and Curé-Labelle boulevards. The implementation of this means of
transportation, combined with certain sections of reserved lanes and a system
of prioritization of traffic lights, would make it possible to develop rapid,
efficient corridors that could then be developed even more.
    "This solution comes within the dual objective that we are pursuing: to
increase passenger volumes and significantly contribute toward reducing
greenhouse gases," stated Jean-Jacques Beldié, Chairman of the STL's Board of
Directors. In fact, setting up a fast network of trolleybuses should make it
possible to attract new clienteles to mass transit, while standing out for
releasing a practically zero rate of carbon dioxide emissions into the
environment.
    The findings of the study should be known at the end of this year, and it
is at that time that the various partners will be in a position to reach a
decision on the feasibility of the project.



For further information: Marie-Céline Bourgault, Director, Communication
and Marketing, Société de transport de Laval, (450) 662-5429,
mcbourgault@stl.laval.qc.ca