LAVAL, QC, March 26, 2012 /CNW Telbec/ - How can the self-sufficiency of intellectually challenged transit users and those with a pervasive developmental disorder (PDD) be significantly increased and how can their transit trips be made easier for them?
To take up this exciting challenge, the Société de transport de Laval (STL) is proud to be teaming up with Centre de réadaptation en déficience intellectuelle (CRDI) Normand-Laramée, a rehab centre for the intellectually challenged, thereby putting into concrete form its intention previously announced in its plan to improve accessibility on public transit.
Under their partnership agreement, signed today, the two organizations will be pooling their resources and expertise to design a specialized mobile application for the intellectually challenged and PDD transit users. The Ministère des Transports du Québec will be funding 75% of this project.
The Chaire de recherche sur les technologies de soutien à l'autodétermination (TSA) (the research chair of the Université du Québec à Trois-Rivières in self-determination support technologies), will also be contributing to this project.
This new application has been designed to serve as a technical aid aimed at making riders more self-sufficient on their transit trips, while ensuring their safety. On their Smartphone, these riders will be able to receive messages and alerts that will guide them all throughout their trip, by giving them clear, precise instructions that they can see and hear—for example, what bus to board and at what stop to get off.
Through geolocation, authorized people will be able to follow the transit trips of the project participants (provided that these riders consent to such monitoring).
The STL's Customer Contact Centre may intervene during the transit trips taken with this application and, if need be, request the assistance of the various parties in the transit users' circle, depending on the situation.
"I would like to applaud this wonderful initiative and I'm proud of the fact that the Ministère des Transports is taking part in this developmental project," stated Guy Oullette, parliamentary secretary to the Transport Minister and MNA for Chomedey. Once more, the STL is distinguishing itself through its concern for continuing to optimize its transit users' experience and thereby promoting mass transit."
"We're constantly noting that Laval is determined to be ahead of its time," stated Mayor Gilles Vaillancourt. "It's a city that is home to the good life, and more and more, this holds true for everyone."
"We are aware of—and sensitive to—the needs of special clienteles, and our ambition is to make it possible for them to safely and efficiently use our regular transit network. From now on, they will be able to choose between paratransit services and those of the regular system," stated STL Chairman Jean-Jacques Beldié.
"This new application will have an extremely positive impact, as the intellectually challenged and those with PDD will have a much better quality of life, as a result."
The new mobile application will take advantage of the functionalities of STL Synchro—a vast, real-time information system for transit users. This system has been in operation since January 2010.
The STL, facts and figures
- The STL operates over 20-million runs annually.
- The STL has rolled out its STL Synchro system, which informs transit users, in real time, about bus schedules and progress along the routes.
- The overhaul of its bus network, made necessary by the extension of the metro to Laval, has given rise to a 32% increase in service, faster trips, more direct bus routes and a greater frequency of buses outside rush hours, on evenings and weekends on 12 routes.
- The STL has also joined forces 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 is registered on Twitter and has its own Facebook page, where it announces service notices.
- The STL offers riders the opportunity to register on My STL in order to receive notices concerning the bus routes that they usually take.
- Since the roll-out, in 2009, of its vehicle scheduling control system, the STL's on-time performance rates continue to improve, and to date, it has succeeded in achieving rates of over 92%.
- The STL has received a number of awards of distinction, including one from the AQTR in 2010: the Grand Prix for excellence in mass transit, positioning it as an outstanding corporation.
- In 2011, the STL was honoured with the AQTR's general public communication award for its Smog Alert program.
- In 2011, the STL undertook a feasibility study to examine the viability of implementing an aerial tramway (gondola service) on its territory. This study is an additional project over and above the measures in the Sustainable Mobility Plan. The steps being taken in this regard are supported by Ville de Laval, the Agence métropolitaine de transport and Hydro-Québec.
- The mission of CRDI Normand-Laramée is to provide adaptation and rehabilitation services to the intellectually challenged and those with PDD and to help them take part in society, in addition to offering support and specialized assistance services to the people in such intellectually challenged and PDD individuals' circle.
- As of March 31, 2011, the CRDI Normand-Laramée provided services to 1521 people on Laval territory. Out of all its clientele, nearly 1,000 individuals are intellectually challenged and approximately 520 have a pervasive developmental disorder.
- In November 2010, the Board of Directors of CRDI Normand-Laramée adopted its strategic plan for 2010-2015. This plan is guiding the CRDI toward a professional culture based on efficiency and performance. Such strategic planning draws on the CRDI's mission for its inspiration and recommends a vision for this institution, in addition to identifying five major choices and challenges that will influence its development over the coming years.
- Full information may be found on the CRDI's website (www.crdinl.qc.ca).
Image with caption: "Left to right: Guy Picard, GM of STL; Claude Belley, GM of CRDI Normand-Laramée; Jean-Jacques Beldié, Chairman of the Board of STL; Germain Lafrenière, Vice-Chairman of the Board of CRDI Normand-Laramée; Alain Paquet, Minister of Finance and MNA for Laval-des-Rapides; Francine Charbonneau, MNA for Mille-Îles; Guy Ouellette, Assistant to the Minister of Transport; and Gilles Vaillancourt, Mayor of Laval (CNW Group/SOCIETE DE TRANSPORT DE LAVAL)". Image available at: http://photos.newswire.ca/images/download/20120326_C7970_PHOTO_EN_11577.jpg
For further information:
Director, Communication & Marketing
Société de transport de Laval