Société de transport de Laval’s (STL) 360 bus line had a spectacularly successful summer in 2017, hauling almost 24,000 passengers from June 24 to August 25 this year; a ridership number reflecting a 198% spike compared to last summer, when the service was not free of charge and gratuity was still a pilot project. August 2017 was the most popular month with a ridership of 11,000 compared to last year’s 3,500. Free of charge since the beginning of this year, 360 bus line has already ferried some 35,000 customers so far. Our projections tell us that this number should climb to 40,000 by the end of the year. This compares quite favourably to 2016, which clocked in at 18,000 passengers for the year.
We should also note that our downtown shuttle is the joint brainchild of the STL, the City of Laval, Tourisme Laval, Centropolis and its tourist attractions (SkyVenture, Putting Edge, Escalade Clip ‘n Climb, Maeva Surf), the Cosmodôme, the Carrefour Laval shopping mall, Centre Laval and some hotel establishments. The route frequency is tailored to the season; every day in the summer, all week during some school breaks and all weekends the rest of the year; departures every 25 minutes from Montmorency métro.
A quote from Laval Mayor Marc Demers
‘The launch of Route 360 was a show of boldness, consultation and partnership between several of the region’s players. Laval is actually one of the rare Quebec cities to offer this type of transport free of charge in its downtown core. It is also in line with our desire to favour urban mobility, active transport and to propose a simple solution, accessible to that increasing number of people who want to get around without using their car.’
A quote from STL President David De Cotis
‘The launch of a tourism-centered free route is an unequivocal innovation for a public transit authority. The STL has an outstanding track record in innovation and strives constantly for supply improvement. The gratuity of the 360 bus line is the culmination of orientation and strategic planning in the region, targeting visitors’ experience, favouring smoother, faster and easier commutes.’
A quote from Tourisme Laval President and Chief Executive Officer Geneviève Roy
‘This positive assessment clearly illustrates the importance of offering an effective transport service to travellers and contributes directly to lifting the region’s attractiveness. Furthermore, by ferrying Lavallers and tourists alike free of charge, the STL and its partners boost downtown Laval’s economic activity, coaxing travellers into allotting their budget to their tourism experience.’
A unique makeover for 2017
In a joint initiative with Tourisme Laval and its partners intended to the four buses serving this route this summer to stand out, the STL had the vehicles made over in a special visual of colours representing downtown Laval’s main attractions. Albeit a bit difficult to gauge the impact of this initiative, it would be a safe be to assume that this signature heightened the bus line’s 2017 visibility.
360 bus line’s history
The various project partners spotted a need to serve the downtown core for visitors who have no automobile or to make things easier for those who wanted to leave the car home, at the hotel or at the park’n ride facility. Initially a January 2016 pilot project, not only did the 360 bus line become an official STL network route in 2017, but also a service free to all. In order to facilitate trips coming from Montreal, the North Shore and various Laval areas, the shuttle’s start terminal is in Montmorency métro, which also harbours the terminals for buses coming from the North Shore as well as a park’n’ride facility. The route, which loops around the downtown area, provides constant contact with several hotels and tourist attractions.
Visit ligne360.com to see the 360 bus line’s schedule and route.
About Société de transport de Laval
Société de transport de Laval develops and operates an integrated network consisting of bus, taxibus, and paratransit transport which carries out some 20 million trips per year. The STL’s regular bus network consists of 45 routes, some 2700 stops and covers over 1400 kilometres on Laval territory. The STL is among the most innovative transport corporations in North America thanks to projects such as its entirely electric 40-foot bus, the first one to ever hit the streets in Canada, since 2013, and its Passenger Information Display System (PIDS), which has been providing real-time information to passengers regarding bus location on the network since 2010. In 2017, the STL launched its STL Quality Commitment Program, which is a unique service guarantee in the country, and was also the first public transit authority in Canada to accept fare payment by credit card onboard its buses. To find out more, visit www.stl.laval.qc.ca