SEPT-ÎLES, QC, Dec. 18, 2018 /CNW Telbec/ - Quebec's transport minister, François Bonnardel, and Interim Chief Executive Officer of Société des traversiers du Québec (STQ), François Bertrand, announced a series of initiatives today that will significantly improve passenger mobility and goods service for residents of the Lower North Shore and Anticosti Island.
These new measures will deliver an alternative air transportation service for residents when inclement sailing conditions prevent the MV Bella Desgagnés from docking at any of the usual ports of call.
It will now also be easier and more affordable for residents to travel aboard the MV Bella Desgagnés. As well as increasing the number of reduced-rate berths available to these clients from 30 to 36, these initiatives will roll back the cost of a berth in a standard four-person cabin by more than 30% from $73 to $50.
Finally, drivers of vehicles between 6 and 6.4 metres in length—primarily pickup trucks—will benefit from a new fare structure that reduces the current rates by 30 to 85%, depending on their destination and point of departure.
Meanwhile, the fare structure for snowmobiles and ATVs will be brought in line with the current motorcycle fares, saving their drivers an average of 45%.
These initiatives are being introduced in collaboration with the vessel operator Relais Nordik Inc. (RNI) and will officially take effect with the next departure of the MV Bella Desgagnés on December 24, just in time for the traditional Holiday travel rush.
"Supporting regional development is a priority for our government, and transporting people and goods is an essential part of investing in the vitality and attraction of these regions of our province. These new initiatives are our government's way of showing residents and business owners on the Lower North Shore and Anticosti Island that they deserve a better maritime service—one that not only meets their needs and enhances their quality of life, but one they can count on. We listened to what the mayors of the Lower North Shore communities had to say, and we are committed to being a major partner in their development."
François Bonnardel, Quebec's transport minister
"STQ is a driving force for social and economic development in many regions of Quebec, including the Lower North Shore and Anticosti Island. By spearheading these new initiatives, STQ has shown its commitment to serving the communities it connects and adapting to their needs. Residents will now benefit from a simpler, more accessible and more affordable maritime service, just in time for the busy Holiday season."
François Bertrand, Interim CEO of STQ.
Three key initiatives will be implemented on December 24 to improve maritime service between Anticosti Island and the Lower North Shore:
Alternative air transportation service for residents at no extra cost
More berths reserved for residents and lower rates for dedicated berths in standard cabins
New fare structure significantly reduces the cost of travel for pickup trucks, snowmobiles and ATVs
Alternative air transportation service will be put in place by RNI. Passengers simply reserve their trip with the airline and will not incur any additional cost or financial transactions.
To be eligible for alternative air transportation, passengers must:
Be a resident of one of the communities served
Have reserved their place aboard the MV Bella Desgagnés or purchased their ticket at least 24 hours prior to the ship's scheduled departure
Have paid the cost of their ferry fare in full
Travel to the same destination
Use the alternative transportation service at least 24 hours prior to the MV Bella Desgagnés calling at the same port in the same direction of travel
The number of preferred-rate berths reserved for residents will be increased from 30 to 36. The cost for a berth in a standard four-person cabin will be reduced by more than 30%, from $73 to $50. Almost half of these berths will be non-reservable to ensure greater travel flexibility for residents.
Fares for vehicles between 6 and 6.4 metres in length—primarily pickup trucks—will be standardized and set on a per-vehicle basis rather than being charged by weight as a non-containerized vehicle. For pickup truck drivers, this will reduce the fare by 30 to 85%, depending on their destination and point of departure.
The fare schedule for snowmobiles and ATVs has been brought in line with the motorcycle fare. This will save residents an average of 45%.
These initiatives will make a significant difference for the mobility of residents of the Lower North Shore and Anticosti Island. The estimated annual cost of these various measures is $205,000.
SOURCE Société des traversiers du Québec
For further information: Alexandre Lavoie, Public Relations Officer, Société des traversiers du Québec, [email protected], 418 646-0359, ext. 251, 418 576-3342; Sébastien Lépine, Director of Communication, Office of the Minister of Transport, Telephone: 418 643-6980, [email protected]