LAVAL, QC, May 30, 2013 /CNW Telbec/ - The Société de transport de Laval is launching the 6th edition of Operation Smog Alert to encourage residents to use public transit during the summer on smog days.
First introduced in 2008 and starting 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 $3.00; the special $1 fare granted to riders on smog days therefore corresponds to a discount of nearly 67% on the regular price.
Operation Smog Alert will be in effect every smog day in the summer, June 1 - Labour Day, September 2, 2013.
"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 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
Director, Communications & Marketing
Société de transport de Laval