The STL Launches the 3rd Edition of "Operation Smog Alert": It Will Drop its
Fares 64% on Summer Smog Days

LAVAL, QC, June 2 /CNW Telbec/ - The Société de transport de Laval is launching the 3rd edition of Operation Smog Alert to encourage residents to use public transit during the summer on smog days.

First introduced in 2008 and now again today, June 1, this measure consists of reducing the bus fare to just $1 on smog days and is designed to promote the use of public transit and, at the same time, to cut down on the number of vehicles on the road, which are largely responsible for air pollution. The STL's cash fare is normally $2.75; the special $1 fare granted to riders on smog days therefore corresponds to a discount of nearly 64% on the regular price.

Operation Smog Alert will be in effect every smog day in the summer, June 1 - Labour Day, September 6, 2010.

"It's a very concrete opportunity to try public transit, especially for Laval residents who aren't very familiar with the STL's network," stated STL Chairman Jean-Jacques Beldié.

A responsible, environmentally-sensitive corporation, the STL distinguished itself in 2008 by creating its Smog Alerts, thereby becoming the first and only carrier in Québec to actively take part in the battle to improve the air quality with a special fare policy.

It is estimated that this incentive could prompt 3,000 motorists to get off our roads in one single day-half in the morning and as many in the evening. The operation is therefore good for the environment, as it helps convince motorists to leave their vehicles at home on smog days.

When the air quality goes below acceptable health standards, Environment Canada issues the smog warnings.

As soon as the warning is given, in the late afternoon, the STL puts its Smog Alert process into action and this process will remain in effect all throughout the following day. The fare discount will then be announced to the various media, on Ville de Laval's electronic signs and on the variable message signs of the Ministère des Transports du Québec, which are located along the main highway corridors in the area.

The STL, facts and figures

    
    - The STL operates over 20 million runs annually.
    - The overhaul of the bus network, made necessary by the extension of the
      metro to Laval, gave rise to a 28% increase in service, faster trips
      and more direct bus routes.
    - The frequency of buses outside rush hours, on evenings and weekends,
      has doubled on 12 lines since August 2009.
    - The fare policy is particularly designed to encourage families to use
      public transit: All adults paying their fare on weekends and holidays
      may be accompanied, free of charge, by up to five children age 11 and
      under. This policy also applies to every day in the summer, July 1 -
      Labour Day. In addition, the STL's $1 fares on summer smog days are a
      first in Québec.
    - The STL is financing Éco Mobile à Laval, a major operation by Vélo
      Québec and aimed at promoting alternate solutions to car use.
    - It is also partnering with the Association québécoise de lutte contre
      la pollution atmosphérique, Communauto and The Carpooling Network to
      promote sustainable transportation in Laval.
    - All vehicles on its fleet use biodiesel B5.
    - The STL has its own page on Facebook, where it announces service
      notices, and it is also on Twitter.
    - The STL offers riders the opportunity to register on MySTL to receive
      notices on its bus routes that they usually take.
    - Since the roll-out, in 2009, of its vehicle scheduling control system,
      the STL's on-time performance has been on the rise, to over 92%.
    - In February 2010, STL President Jean-Jacques Beldié received the
      Guy-Chartrand award, in the Public Transit Development and Improvement
      category.
    

SOURCE Société de transport de Laval

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


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