Test trials get under way in Laval - STL testing first 12-metre, fully-electric urban bus in North America!

LAVAL, QC, May 9, 2013 /CNW Telbec/ - Manufactured by DesignLine, the first exhaust-free urban bus in Québec has been making rounds through the streets of Laval since April 29.

Operated in a closed run since this past February to test its performance under real conditions, this electric bus is 40-feet long—the same length as a standard urban bus—a first in all of North America.

Until August 25, this bus will be undergoing test trials along the streets of Laval and on certain bus routes—first without and then with transit users, in order to test its operating range, the charging infrastructure as well as the impact of weather conditions on reliability and performance. Around the end of the summer, transit users will be able to try it out on certain bus lines on the regular network.

In the meantime, Laval residents will be able to try out the electric bus according to the following schedule:

  • May 13 & 15, 7 a.m. - 6:30 p.m.
    Presentation at Cartier terminus
  • June 2, 9 a.m. - 4 p.m.
    Presentation at the STL's Open House, 2250 avenue Francis-Hughes, Laval
  • June 9, 12:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.
    Presentation at the Salon du véhicule vert de Laval, which will be held at École Val-des-Arbres, 3145 rue Saguenay
  • June 15 & 16, July 6 & 7 and August 3 & 4, 10 a.m. - 2 p.m.
    Free shuttles for riders between Montmorency and Le Carrefour terminuses

Please note that these schedules are subject to change. We encourage you to consult our website (at stl.laval.qc.ca).

The STL's five major objectives in conducting these tests are as follows:

  • To develop strong expertise in the field of electric-powered buses and to clarify the issues related to the use of this type of vehicle
  • To determine the impact of slow-charging technology on service planning
  • To identify the skills required in training the various parties concerned
  • To gather transit users' reactions to the vehicle, its noise, convenience, accessibility, concept, etc.
  • To make sure that the ambitious objective of launching the electrification of public transit, once the technology so allows and once it becomes financially viable to do so, is feasible within the Laval context.

First carrier in North America

With the acquisition of this vehicle in December 2012, the STL became the first transit corporation in North America to test a full-size, slow-charging electric bus.

This acquisition comes within Ville de Laval's Mobility Plan, which aims at a 50% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions from passenger transportation in Laval by 2031.

As it may be recalled, the initiative was welcomed by Québec Transport Minister Sylvain Gaudreault, who stressed that this project represents a key milestone for the gradual electrification of public transit throughout the territory. Many associations have also highlighted the STL's exemplary leadership in public transit development and environment protection as well as its contribution to developing the urban public transit electrification strategy in Québec.

If all tests prove conclusive, the new vehicle will be integrated into the STL's regular network starting this fall.

The STL, Facts and Figures

  • The STL operates over 20 million trips annually.
  • The STL has rolled out its STL Synchro system, which informs transit users, in real time, about bus schedules and progress along its routes.
  • The overhaul of its bus network, made necessary by the extension of the metro to Laval, gave rise to a 32% increase in service, faster trips, more direct bus routes and an increase in ridership outside rush hours, on evenings and weekends, on 12 routes.
  • The fare policy is aimed at encouraging families to use public transit: an adult paying a regular fare on weekends and holidays may be accompanied by up to five children of 11 years of age or under at no extra charge. This policy also applies to every summer day from July 1 to Labour Day. Moreover, the $1 fare on smog alert days in summer is a first in Québec.
  • The STL has also teamed up with the Association québécoise de lutte contre la pollution atmosphérique, Communauto and The Carpooling Network, to promote sustainable transportation in Laval.
  • All of the vehicles on the STL's fleet use B5 biodiesel fuel.
  • The STL announces news and service notices on its Facebook and Twitter pages.
  • The STL offers its transit users the opportunity to register on My STL in order to receive notices on the bus routes that they usually take and obtain information on what's new at the STL.
  • Since the introduction of its Vehicle Scheduling Control System in 2009, the STL has increased its on-time performance to nearly 90%.
  • The STL has received a number of awards of distinction, including the Grand Prix for excellence in public transit from the AQTR in 2010, ranking it as an outstanding corporation.
  • In 2011, the STL received the Communication Grand Public award from the AQTR for its Smog Alert program.
  • In May 2012, the STL launched its new service: STL Sustainable Mobility Solution, designed for companies and organizations concerned about finding ways of more efficiently managing their employees' commutes.
  • In May 2012, the Canadian Urban Transit Association (CUTA) presented the STL with its Corporate Leadership Award, in the Innovation category, for its CLIC project: carpooling with electric vehicles.
  • In November 2012, the STL signed the Charter on Sustainable Development of the UITP (International Association of Public Transport), as a pledge signatory.
  • In March 2013, the STL became the first public transit corporation in Québec to be certified as a "Healthy Enterprise".

SOURCE: Société de transport de Laval

For further information:

Marie-Céline Bourgault
Director, Communications and Marketing
Société de transport de Laval
450 662-5429
mcbourgault@stl.laval.qc.ca  


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