LAVAL, QC, May 26, 2015 /CNW Telbec/ - Over the next few months, the STL (Société de transport de Laval) will be testing a new smart phone application designed to improve the independence of people with mild disabilities and pervasive developmental disorders (PDD).
Called the STL Companion, this new application was developed in collaboration with Laval's Centre de réadaptation en déficience intellectuelle et en trouble envahissant du développement (CRDITED) who also participated in the testing period. Development is progressing well and everything remains on track despite the tight schedule.
The STL is developing and adapting this application with a team from the Barcelona-based Mass Factory. Mass Factory is the team known for the "On the Bus" application, now called App & Town, which includes several guiding functions. The STL application will include several innovative functions.
David De Cotis, President of the STL's Board of Directors is overjoyed with the development of this application: " The STL Companion will help clients with specific difficulties who could not use the regular bus network to achieve greater independence. If the testing proves conclusive, the STL Companion will provide empowerment for everyone, allowing them to travel in Laval and right across the world. "
The STL Companion is easy to use and allows riders to program their trip using a web interface by themselves or with the help of a tutor. Then all they have to do is open the app on their smartphone for the trip and they will receive clear and precise audio and visual travel tips. Icons and a map will provide users information on which route to take to get to the bus stop. Their phones will vibrate prompting them on which bus to board and again when they need to get off the bus. The user can choose a text-to-speech function to give them verbal notices at any time if they prefer.
A built-in geolocation system tracks their trip and allowing for interventions where necessary. If the client encounters any service disruptions or takes the wrong path, the STL's Customer Contact Center will notify a customer service agent who will contact them to make sure everything is under control. If required, a designated person can contact the client and offer their help.
A dozen people will be recruited over the coming months by CRDITED to test the application for passenger trials. New users will be added gradually as the needs and workloads are evaluated and taken under control.
STL Companion +
The STL has also developed an application for the general public called STL Companion + to help people who aren't yet familiar with our network to travel with ease. The STL Companion + application is not connected to the Customer Contact Center however. This application will be launched over the next few months.
"Launching the STL Companion + and STL Companion applications is proof of our desire to make the STL a system that welcomes and transports the largest number people possible by gradually eliminating obstacles to the use of public transit. This is a long term commitment that dovetails with the sustainable mobility guidelines that were adopted by the STL and the City of Laval in 2011" adds David De Cotis.
The STL, taking action
- The STL is responsible for over 20 million trips annually.
- The STL has rolled out the STL Synchro system to keep its clients informed in real time about its schedules and buses.
- The STL's fare policy is geared to encourage families to use public transit: an adult who pays a regular fare during the week or on statutory holidays can be accompanied by up to five children under the age of 12 for free. This policy is also applicable on smog days between July 1st and Labour Day. The $1 reduced fare on smog days during the summer period is a first in Quebec.
- The STL has partnered with the Association québécoise de lutte contre la pollution atmosphérique and with Communauto.
- We use our Facebook and Twitter accounts to share our news and travel notices.
- We created My STL to offer our clients the opportunity to receive updates about their regular bus lines and to find out what's new at the STL.
- Since the launch of our Operational support and user information system in 2009, we have increased our punctuality rate to nearly 90 %.
- The STL has received several awards and distinctions including the AQTR'S Grand prix d'excellence en transport en commun in 2010, which solidified our reputation for excellence.
- In 2011, the STL took the AQTR Communication Grand Public prize for its smog alert program.
- In May 2012, the STL received the ACTU, le Prix de leadership des entreprises in the Innovation category for the Clic carpooling project.
- In May 2012, the STL launched its new STL Sustainable mobility solution for businesses and organizations that are conscious of managing the travels of their employees more efficiently.
- In November 2012, the STL signed the International Union of Public Transport's (IUPT) Charter on Sustainable Development.
- In March 2013, the STL became the first transportation company in Quebec to be a certified "Healthy Enterprise"!
- In May 2013, the AQTr awarded the STL their Coup de cœur du jury d'honneur award for two projects: The Operational support and user information system for paratransit (OSIS) and CLIC the electric carpooling project launched in conjunction with the AMT.
- In 2013, the CUTA awarded the STL with two Corporate Leadership Awards: one in the Innovation category for its operational support and user information system for paratransit (OSIS) and other in the Marketing and Communications category for the "Let's Develop Together" contest.
- In November 2013, the STL received the Institut d'administration publique du Québec's Excellence award in the "e-Government" category for its real time operational support and user information system for paratransit.
- In 2014, the STL received the Prix Coup de cœur du jury d'honneur de l'AQTr for its Projet d'expérimentation d'un bus électrique à recharge lente bus project.
- In October 2014, the STL was given special mention in the sustainable development category for its real time operational support and user information system for paratransit (OSIS).
- In October 2014, the STL received the ATUQ Prix Reconnaissance for the development and implementation of the new Horizon 65+ fare.
- In October 2014, Recyc-Québec honoured the STL with a Special Mention in its Ici on Recycle program.
SOURCE Société de transport de Laval
For further information: Marie-Céline Bourgault, Communications and Marketing Director, 450 662-5429, [email protected]