New Automated Calls System - The STL improves its paratransit services in Laval!

LAVAL, QC, Feb. 5, 2013 /CNW Telbec/ - Mr. Jean-Jacques Beldié, Board President of the Société de transport de Laval (STL), proudly introduced the new paratransit services' automated calls system, which is improving service to thousands of clients. A first in Quebec, this centralized system of information management considerably reduces waiting time for adapted transportation users.

Mrs. Aline Locas, mother of a paratransit services user, commented: "Since December, we've been enjoying the new system that confirms that transportation is reserved and on its way. My son is less anxious in the morning, knowing he hasn't been forgotten… He is relieved and so am I. His waiting time is shorter as he waits for the call to start putting on his coat and boots."

"This is an initiative that greatly reassures clients, because they now know at what time their transportation will arrive, rejoiced Mrs. Louise Audet, General Manager of ALTA (Association lavalloise pour le transport adapté). They are ready when the minibus or taxi arrives at their door."

Up to now, the minibuses and taxis that handle, in a respective proportion of 45% and 55%, the adapted transportation provided in Laval did not have the equipment and systems needed for the management of operations in real time. As planned schedules could get disrupted by the hazards of the road, waiting times at clients' door and last minute cancellation of requests for transportation, the STL had long been searching for a way to respond to the need for information in real time for its paratransit services clients. It also wanted to reduce the waiting times and improve its performance.

The system now put into place was developed from existing technology used elsewhere in Canada, but adapted to the specific needs of the STL. This exercise required nearly fourteen months of work. Thanks to GPS technology and screen type terminals for the drivers inside the paratransit services vehicles, the system now allows communication in real time with the vehicles, and integrates the changes that might occur in the course of the day to the routes. But the greatest advantage of this system is, without a doubt, the fact that it allows automatic calls to the clients to advise them of the imminent arrival of their transit vehicle, thus avoiding delays and waiting times.

"The system has an automated calls function. As soon as the driver starts the vehicle, he only has to press a button to trigger a call to the client informing him of his arrival. Thus, the waiting time is reduced for the client and the routes are completed more efficiently; everybody wins", declared Mr. Sylvain Yelle, Senior Manager - Operations at the STL.

"One of our goals was also to reduce the number of last-minute cancellations so that the time slots could be reassigned. The new automated system permits the confirmation of rides on the eve of trips, and cancellations notices if applicable, continued Mrs. Doris Clément, head of paratransit services. In addition, people can reserve by phone or online on our website, which is the case for most users." «

Mr. Jean-Jacques Beldié, President of the Board of Directors of the STL, is also very pleased with the installation of this new system: "The automated calls system demonstrates the determination of the STL to do all in its power to simplify its clients' lives. By contributing to the optimisation of our services aimed at our adapted services clientele, and making it more efficient and punctual, we contribute to improving the quality of life of these clients." 

Laval's mayor, Mr. Alexandre Duplessis, has also expressed his pleasure at this innovation: "Laval's goal is to increase the mobility of all its residents. By improving services to the users of adapted transit, the STL is contributing to their social inclusion by offering them a better quality of life. We all end up winners!"

Established in late 2012, the system has already proven its worth, and the results are conclusive. The level of satisfaction is up, the quality of service is greatly improved and all this contributes to better management and efficiency. "Better informing the clientele is already very good, but diminishing waiting times reduces operating costs and travelling time for the clients already inside the vehicle. With the same budget we are able to offer increased services, concludes Mr. Guy Picard, the corporation's General Manager. I am proud of this initiative that demonstrates, once again, the capability of the STL to introduce new technologies in order to efficiently answer the needs of its clientele."

The STL, Facts and Figures

  • The STL oversees over 20 million trips yearly.
  • The STL deployed its STLSynchro system that informs clients of bus schedules and movements in real time.
  • The review of its bus network, made necessary by the arrival of the métro, translated into a 32% service increase, faster trips, more direct lines and an increase in ridership outside rush hours, on evenings and weekends, on 12 lines.
  • The fare policy is aimed at encouraging families to use mass 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 younger at no extra charge. This policy also applies to every summer day from July 1st to Labour Day. Moreover, the $1 fare on smog alert days in summer is a Quebec first.
  • It also works with the AQLPA (Quebec Association to Fight Against Air Pollution), Communauto and a carpooling network to encourage sustainable transportation in Laval.
  • All of its fleet's vehicles use B5 biodiesel fuel.
  • The STL transmits news and service advisories on its Facebook page and Twitter account.
  • Its clients have the option of registering with MaSTL to receive notices related to bus lines they routinely use and obtain information on what's new at the STL.
  • Since the introduction in 2009 of its Vehicle Scheduling Control System, the STL has been registering an increased rate of punctuality of nearly 90%.
  • The STL is the recipient of several achievement awards, among them the AQTR's Grand prix d'excellence en transport en commun in 2010, acknowledging its excellence as a mass transit corporation.
  • In 2011, the STL received the Communication Grand Public prize 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 organisations interested in better management of 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 UITP's (International Association of Public Transport) Charter on Sustainable Development as a committed member.

SOURCE: Société de transport de Laval

For further information:

Marie-Céline Bourgault
Director, Communications and marketing
Société de transport de Laval
450 662-5429


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