Preferential Measures for Buses

Priority lights
Relocated bus stops and shelters
More reserved lanes
Transit priority signals
Bus sidetracks

Project presentation

For smarter commutes

To improve the speed, reliability and accessibility of its network, the STL will be launching several major projects including the implementation of a series of preferential measures for buses (PMB).

100% financed by the Quebec Ministry of Transport, the work will include a system of transit signal priority lights that prioritizes buses throughout the STL’s network, the creation of reserved bus lanes, the addition of passing lanes and the installation of bus priority signal lights. Part of the improvement process will also see specific bus stops moved from before intersections to just after in order to improve traffic flow. The city of Laval will also be taking this opportunity to make improvements to its network of roads, pedestrian walkways and bike paths.

Watch videos about measures being implemented in your area.

  • Background map
  • Axe des Laurentides et Terminus Cartier
  • Terminus Le Carrefour
  • Axe CurĂ©-Labelle
  • Approches du pont Lachapelle
  • Boulevard Le Corbusier Nord
  • Boulevard Le Corbusier Sud
  • Axe Notre-Dame
  • Axe Concorde

Major Works 2016 : Questions & Answers

What are preferential bus measures?

Preferential bus measures (PBM) are changes made to the system of roads that allow for the prioritization of public transit thereby improving the speed and punctuality of service.

  • Real time prioritized lights
  • Reserved lanes
  • Candlestick priority traffic lights
  • Traffic bypass lanes
What is the context of this project?

A: A key part of the STL’s Strategic Plan is to increase ridership by 40% between 2013 and 2022. Our principal means of achieving this is the development of preferential bus measures to improve speed, reliability and punctuality.

Following the announcement made by the ministère des Transports, de la Mobilité durable et de l’Électrification des transports (MTMDET) that it will be extending its aid program for preferential measures completed before December 31, 2017, a series of flexible measures were identified for prioritization along Laval’s main traffic arteries to benefit the STL’s clients.

The STL will therefore be implementing preferential bus measures (PBM) and the City of Laval and the AMT will also be using this occasion to coordinate major future works.

What are the goals of the PMB project?
  • Saving time for our clients
  • Increasing ridership
  • Improving the modal aspect of public transit
  • Reducing greenhouse gas emissions
  • Improving network performance and reliability
  • Reducing travel time
  • Optimizing our assets and fleet of buses
  • Increasing and improving our service offer
  • Encouraging current and future urban development
What is the cost of this investment?

This is a major investment to improve public transportation in Laval worth $38.8 million. The MTMDET has earmarked $23.5 million for the STL. The City of Laval will also be contributing $15.3 million to improve the active transportation system through the creation of bicycle paths and the refurbishment of sidewalks.

The AMT will also be investing $3.2 million for work on Notre-Dame and de la Concorde boulevards.

What are real time prioritized traffic lights?

Transit Signal Priority, or TSP, is a GPS communication system between buses and traffic lights that facilitates the insertion of buses into traffic.

When a bus is running late, the system requests priority at a traffic light. The system calculates the distance before the bus reaches the intersection. A green light or a candlestick light is then extended or the red light is shortened by a few seconds to allow the bus to continue along its route without having to stop at the traffic light.

This new system includes 227 smart traffic lights—covering 90% of the traffic lights passed by the STL’s buses— and is a major technological innovation that will significantly impact the amount of time buses take to complete their routes.

What are reserved lanes?

Reserved lanes allow buses, and in some cases taxis, to use an exclusive lane to avoid traffic congestion. Characterized by lane markings, separate signalling (lateral and overhead signage) Reserved lanes can be effective during peak period hours of operation or 24 hours a day. Benefits include more efficient travel, improved regularity, more punctual service and the reduction of greenhouse gas production.

What are candlestick lights?

Traffic lights with a white bar that provide buses with a 4-5 second lead time before cars are allowed to advance, giving buses the opportunity to reintegrate into traffic.

What are traffic bypass lanes?

A lane that allows buses to avoid traffic congestion at the approach to certain intersections identified by markings on the roadway and signalling.

What are points of congestion?

Points of congestion are certain intersections where the STL has identified traffic congestion problems. Prioritized traffic lights equipped with the TSP system will be installed to better coordinate the movement of traffic in Laval.

Where will the STL be installing these preferential bus measures?
  1. Curé-Labelle: between Sainte-Rose and Saint-Martin boulevards
  2. Terminus Le Carrefour 
    • Avenue Terry-Fox: between Boulevard Le Carrefour and Avenue du Cosmodôme
    • boulevard: between Rue Jean-Béraud and Boulevard Saint-Martin
    • Boulevard Le Carrefour: between Le Corbusier and Chomedey boulevards

  3. Des Laurentides Between Bellerose and Cartier Ouest boulevards and Terminus Cartier: Between Boulevard Des Laurentides and 15e Rue.
  4. Approaches to the Lachapelle Bridge 
    • Samson Boulevard: between la Promenade des Îles and Boulevard Curé-Labelle
    • Lévesque Boulevard: between la Promenade des Îles and Boulevard Curé-Labelle
    • Curé-Labelle Boulevard: between Boulevard Samson and the Lachapelle Bridge

  5. Boulevard Le Corbusier Nord: between Boulevard Dagenais and Autoroute 440.
  6. Boulevard Le Corbusier Sud: between Avenue Albert-Duquesne and Boulevard du Souvenir.
  7. Notre-Dame and de la Concorde: AMT projects
    • Reserved lane on Autoroute Jean-Noël-Lavoie
    • between Samson and Corbusier boulevards
    • De la Concorde: between Boulevard Laval and Rue Vanier

Why implement PBM?

Preferential bus measures allow for faster, more punctual and simply better service. Our buses give public transit a competitive advantage over travel by car. Anticipated advantages for our riders include: saving up to 5 minutes on travel times which, over the course of a year, add up to 50,000 hours of time saved by our clients every year. They also offer a significant environmental savings via the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions.

What criteria were used to select these locations?

A complete analysis was conducted by the STL on traffic congestion in Laval which allowed us to identify locations where our buses were losing the most time. These locations were then subject to further project development studies on how to improve travel times for clients. Comments from drivers, supervisors and clients were also included in the improvement process.

What work have been done by the City of Laval?

The City of Laval is investing $15.3 million.

  • In total, 7.6 km of work including, 4.2 km of new and 3.3 km of modified and refurbished bicycle paths
  • 3.4 km of new sidewalks
  • 166 new street lights
  • Traffic light optimization and synchronization (with the STL)

Public works:


  • Complete resurfacing of Boulevard Daniel-Johnson between Saint-Martin and Jean-Béraud boulevards
  • Complete resurfacing of Boulevard Le Corbusier between Saint-Martin and Du Souvenir boulevards
  • Complete resurfacing of Boulevard Le Corbusier between Boulevard Dagenais and Rue Michelin and between Rue Berlier and Autoroute 440 (entire intersection of Saint-Martin/Curé-Labelle)

Underground work:

  • Reconstruction of a sanitary sewer between Rue Édouard-Montpetit and Boulevard Le Carrefour underneath Boulevard Daniel-Johnson
  • Excavation of trenches for the installation of traffic lights and street lights in several locations
  • Traffic light controllers (approximately 225) and cabinets (fewer than 225) will be replaced
  • TSP will be added in 230 locations
What work has been done by the AMT?

In 2016, the AMT will be launching preferential bus measures on three major arteries in Laval: Notre-Dame and de la Concorde boulevards as well as on the Autoroute Jean-Noël-Lavoie (A-440).

Why is the AMT doing work in the City of Laval?

It is the AMT’s responsibility to conduct work on metropolitan roadways and on Autoroutes. Notre-Dame and de la Concorde boulevards are part of the metropolitan network.

Why move a bus stop or shelter to the other side of an intersection?

Studies have shown that moving a stop or shelter to the other side of an intersection can save time. Priority traffic lights can shorten red lights and allow buses to cross the intersection or extend a green light by 5 or 6 seconds to prevent the bus from stopping before it reaches the intersection. It is therefore more efficient to drop riders off once they are past the intersection and save time using priority traffic lights. These small adjustments can have a major impact on the time it takes a bus to complete its route.

Is the reserved lane project on Boulevard Le Corbusier Sud identical to the one on Boulevard Pie-IX?

No. The central lane on Boulevard Le Corbusier Sud will have a reserved lane in each direction. The reserved lane will be adjacent to the traffic lanes - please see photos. In the case of Boulevard Pie-IX, the reserved lane goes in the opposite direction which has caused some safety-related problems.