STL 2009 budget: Four Partnerships for Sustainable Transportation in Laval

    LAVAL, QC, Dec. 4 /CNW Telbec/ - Within the scope of its 2009 budget, the
Société de transport de Laval is joining forces with four organizations
involved in sustainable transportation. With these partnerships, a full range
of options other than single-occupant motor vehicles is now available in

    Vélo Québec

    The first partnership is with Vélo Québec Association, a major player in
active transportation in Québec. As part of this project, Vélo Québec
Association will be undertaking a vast door-to-door operation, among 20,000
Laval households, to encourage them to adopt an environmentally-friendly means
of transportation. Starting in the spring of 2009, some thirty people on
bicycles will go up and down the streets of Laval and meet with 20,000
families-or nearly 15% of the Laval population-at their homes to provide them
with customized information on walking, cycling and public transit in their
neighbourhood. A few free trips will be offered to Laval residents willing to
try public transit and bicycles will be loaned for a few days to everyone
interested in trying this method of active transportation to travel around in
    This ambitious project is based on similar efforts successfully carried
out in Europe, Australia and some major North American cities. According to
Jean-François Pronovost, Executive Director of Vélo Québec, "this partnership
is a first in Québec. It is our firm conviction that this approach will help
initiate a real, measurable change in favour of mass transit, cycling and
walking among Laval residents." This $500,000 investment is jointly and
equally funded by the STL and Québec's ministère des Transports.

    The Carpooling Network

    The second partnership is with The Carpooling Network, a leader in urban
carpooling (ride-sharing) in Québec. Starting on January 5, the STL and The
Carpooling Network will be making available to all Laval residents, free of
charge, a very efficient, online system of matching carpoolers, right on the
STL's website.
    Laval residents who register in the STL's bank of carpoolers will benefit
from two major cost-free advantages: To begin with, starting in the spring of
2009, they will be able to access reserved parking spaces near the Cartier
metro station, with their special windshield sticker-permit. In addition,
carpoolers registered in the program will be able to benefit from a guaranteed
return home by taxi in emergency situations. This measure may prove useful
when one of the carpoolers has to quickly return home at a different time from
the one agreed upon with the rest of his or her carpooling team. Up to two
guaranteed returns per year may be reimbursed to each carpooler registered in
the program. The STL will cover the cost of the taxi ride, up to a maximum
amount of $25. According to Pier-Olivier Girard, President of The Carpooling
Network, this is the largest municipal carpooling program in Québec: "The
offer of guaranteed returns being made by the STL is a bold one and should
encourage many Laval residents to try the carpooling experience. It's a
win-win situation for everyone, both economically and environmentally."


    The STL has already been one of Communauto's partners since 2005. In
fact, regular STL riders who buy 12 monthly passes per year may become a
member of Communauto without having to pay the refundable $500 membership fees
or the annual membership dues of $35, and with no monthly surcharge on the
purchase of their public transit pass.
    The STL and Communauto have decided to expand access to Communauto's
services to occasional public transit users. In fact, according to Benoît
Robert, Communauto's Chairman and Chief Executive Officer, "the partnership
with the STL is truly innovative, given the fact that it will no longer be
necessary to buy 12 consecutive monthly passes in order to be able to benefit
from our services under advantageous conditions. The STL is the first transit
corporation in Québec to be making this innovative offer available. In this
way, it is confirming its pioneering role in sustainable transportation."
    For all Laval residents eligible for the service, wanting to become a
Communauto member and having bought an OPUS card loaded with at least 8 bus
tickets, the STL will pay the initial annual Communauto membership dues within
the Le Lièvre package. For the first year, Communauto will offer them a
discount of $1 (16%) on the hourly rate for using its vehicles.
    In the following years, if the STL notes that at least $35 in transit
fares has been loaded on the OPUS card during the past 12 months, it will
continue to pay the annual membership dues for the Communauto member in

    Scrapping the most highly polluting vehicles

    Old road vehicles are often the most polluting on our streets. The
pollutant emissions of vehicle models built before 1996 (the year when new
environmental standards were introduced) are approximately 19 times greater
than those of more recent models of personal vehicles. "Faites de l'air", the
vehicle scrapping program of the Association québécoise de lutte contre la
pollution atmosphérique (AQLPA) precisely encourages people to get rid of such
vehicles and use a more environmentally-friendly means of transportation.
    For the past few years, in conjunction with the other transit
corporations in the Montréal area, the STL has been teaming up with AQLPA to
encourage owners of models manufactured before 1996 to scrap their vehicles.
If they agree to do so, these motorists then receive 6 months of public
transit passes, a tax receipt for a minimum value of $125 and a one-year AQLPA
membership card.
    Within this renewed partnership, the STL agrees to publicize the Faites
de l'air program on its vehicles and to support AQLPA in its efforts to ensure
more substantial government funding of this program. Already, the STL has
assured AQLPA of its financial support for improvements to this program, which
would make it possible to increase to 12 months the number of monthly passes
offered to owners of scrapped vehicles. According to AQLPA President André
Belisle, "the STL has already distinguished itself with its fare discount
program on summer smog days. Its commitment to air quality is clearly being
confirmed with this support for expanding the Faites de l'air campaign".
    In the opinion of Jean-Jacques Beldié, Chairman of the Board of the
Société de transport de Laval, these four partnerships are giving concrete
expression to Ville de Laval's commitment to sustainable transportation. "It's
clear that our main concern goes beyond public transit. First, we must provide
quality service to our 20 million or so annual passengers; however, it seems
only normal to me that a public transit corporation can also support the work
of organizations striving, like ourselves, to offer more
environmentally-friendly transportation options."

For further information:

For further information: Marie-Céline Bourgault, Director,
Communications and Marketing, Société de transport de Laval, (450) 662-5429,

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