CUTA recognizes the STL for its Transit Signal Priority System

Corporate Leadership Award - Innovation

LAVAL, QC, May 15, 2017 /CNW Telbec/ - Yesterday, in the presence of representatives from the entire Canadian public transportation industry, the Société de transport de Laval (STL) received the Corporate Leadership Award, in the Innovation category, for its Transit Signal Priority (TSP) project. David De Cotis, President of the STL, accepted the award during the Canadian Urban Transit Association (CUTA) award ceremony, held in conjunction with the 2017 Global Public Transport Summit at the Palais des congrès de Montréal. This prestigious award highlights transit innovations that break with conventional processes and extend beyond marginal improvements in products and services. The awarded project was launched as a part of the STL's global strategy to implement Preferential Bus Measures (PBM), which began in 2016 in collaboration with the City of Laval.

Project Details

Transit Signal Priority systems allow vehicles to request priority at traffic lights. Basic TSP systems request priority at all times with no regard for set schedules or the number of passengers onboard. The system used by the STL stands out as it takes into consideration these two additional elements before granting priority. For this project, no less than 232 traffic lights, as well as the entire STL fleet (322 buses and 23 paratransit vehicles) were equipped with an intelligent communications system. In total, 90% of the traffic lights encountered by the STL's fleet, some 75% of the traffic lights across all of Laval, are part of this project.

"For the STL, innovation is a core principle. It is deeply rooted in the way we conduct business. For several years now, the STL has been intensifying its efforts to improve several aspects of its service including punctuality—a key metric for the satisfaction of our clients" says David De Cotis, President of the STL's Board of Directors. "Globally, this project aims to reduce our transit times, improve the fluidity of travel across Laval and reduce transportation related greenhouse gas emissions" adds De Cotis.

"This project is a Canadian first, given its complexity and scale" points out Guy Picard, General Director of the STL. "For the time being, only a handful of the existing systems take schedules into account, however the STL also added the number of riders on the bus to the priority algorithm. This is very rare…if not unique in the world. This is an inexpensive system that can be inserted discretely into the urban environment, and which is imperceptible to drivers while still offering all the means to improve our service and make it faster and more efficient" adds Guy Picard.

How TSP work

The main principle is simple: a bus is equipped with an onboard computer that knows, in real time, whether the bus is late, on schedule or early. It knows how many minutes the bus is off schedule (if ever) and how many riders are on the bus. If the vehicle is on time or early, no request is issued. When the bus is running late, the onboard computer issues an automatic request at the lights for priority, by radio signal; with no human intervention required. The traffic light, according to its programming, grants or denies the bus's request by slightly modifying its cycle to extend or shorten the green phase by a few seconds. The traffic light takes into consideration the position of the vehicle, the number of minutes it is behind schedule and its anticipated arrival time in accordance with the light cycle. In the case that two buses issue a priority request at the same time, the light is making its calculations, it analyzes the data received using complex algorithms and grants priority to one of the two buses, considering how late the bus is running and the number of passengers onboard.

This project was made possible because of the STL's pioneering philosophy which, since 2009, has equipped all its vehicles with a sophisticated onboard computer, a GPS system and a passenger counter which provides real time data, to the nearest second, on the performance of its network and the current number of riders.

About the Société de transport de Laval

The Société de transport de Laval (STL) develops and operates an integrated network of buses, school bus lines and collective taxi and paratransit services, covering a total of 20 million trips per year. The STL's regular bus network includes 45 buses, 2,700 bus stops with service to over 1,400 km across Laval. The STL is one of the most innovative companies in North America thanks to projects that include the first 40-foot 100% electric bus in Quebec (since 2013) and its real time user information system which provides information to clients in real time on the location of all the buses on its network (since 2010). In 2017, the STL launched the its Quality Commitment Program, the first customer service guarantee of its kind in Canada. For more information, visit


SOURCE Société de transport de Laval

For further information: Estelle Lacroix, Communications Consultant, Société de transport de Laval, 450 662-5400 extension 8388,


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