Smog alert - First experience proves conclusive!

    LAVAL, QC, Aug. 18 /CNW Telbec/ - The first Smog Alert in the history of
the Société de transport de Laval (STL) was set in motion last Saturday, for a
period of 3 days. The operation went very well. The fare reduction (down to
only $1 per person) prompted over 4,400 more transit users to opt for public
transit, up 5% over the average number of trips during this time of the year.
Nearly 24,000 riders took advantage of the special $1 fare during those three
days. It should be noted that the Société de transport de Laval has made a
commitment to donate the proceeds of the first 5,000 trips to Equiterre.
    As it may be recalled, this special reduced fare is offered the day after
a smog warning issued by Environment Canada, which hadn't yet made such an
announcement this summer.
    Pleased with the results of this first experience, the STL expects that
the number of riders who will take advantage of the discount will considerably
increase if there are more Alerts this summer.
    In fact, this measure (which comes to an end the day before Labour Day,
September 7) may well be repeated in the next few weeks.
    No other Québec carrier has adopted such an incentive fare policy on smog
days to improve the quality of the air.

    The STL-facts and figures

    - Over 20 million annual trips
    - Information provided to riders at bus stops and inside buses
    - The overhaul of the entire bus system, which became necessary with the
      introduction of the metro and gave rise to a 21% increase in service,
      faster travelling and more direct routes.
    - The frequency of bus service, outside rush hours, during evenings and
      weekends, will double by 2011.
    - Since January 2008, the STL has reduced its single-trip regular fares-
      an unprecedented move in Québec. Guided by an environmental concern,
      this measure should contribute toward increasing the use of public
    - In particular, the fare policy aims at encouraging families to use
      public transit: All adults who pay their fare on weekends and legal
      holidays may be accompanied, free of charge, by three children age 11
      and under.
    - The STL is undertaking a feasibility study for an electrically-powered
      trolleybus network.
    - The STL is financing Eco Mobile à Laval, a major operation conducted by
      Vélo-Québec, to promote alternatives to automobile use.
    - The STL is also joining forces with the Association québécoise de lutte
      contre la pollution atmosphérique, Communauto and the Réseau de
      covoiturage to promote sustainable transportation in Laval.
    - All the vehicles in its fleet use B5 biodiesel, a fuel made from
      recycled oil but with no corn content.
    - All the vehicles are equipped with a real-time GPS tracking system.
    - By March 2010, a real-time display will be available on buses and at
      bus stops, by means of mobile satellite service (MSS).

For further information:

For further information: Marie-Céline Bourgault, Director,
Communications and Marketing, STL, (450) 662-5429

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