COVID-19: WHAT YOU NEED TO KNOW

LAST UPDATE - JULY 31, 2020

Wearing masks is now mandatory on public transit

The Government of Quebec has announced that wearing a face cover is mandatory in public transportation for passengers 12 years of age or older. The wearing of face covers is also compulsory in our terminals. Inside, on our embarkation and disembarkation platforms and at bus shelters (on our terminals only). Please wear a face cover when using public transportation.

Please bear in mind that it is not the bus driver’s responsibility to refuse entry to or force out users not wearing a mask on STL buses or facilities. Our teams’ role regarding the mandatory mask rule as well as the application of any other rules is to remind users about the directives in place, maintain bus service so the other users on board are not penalized, and notify a supervisor in situations requiring further intervention.

For your safety and that of others, please wear a mask when riding with us! Thank you for keeping civic-mindedness top-of-mind at all times.

Distribution of face coverings

Since May, we have distributed 27,000 reusable face coverings on our network and at our bus terminals to facilitate the adoption of this new manner by our users.

This distribution was made possible thanks to financial contribution of the Government of Quebec.

Upcoming distribution activites: other dates will be added during the month of August. Monitor this page for the distribution times and locations.

Moving forward together while respecting the new rules!


August 1 : Boarding from the front door

The STL will gradually resume boarding from the front door as of August 1, 2020. By then, most of our buses will be outfitted with a protective shield surrounding the driver area. The shield, made of translucent Lexan, allows for maximum visibility while protecting drivers.

Returning to front-door boarding also means having to validate your fare to ride the bus. We remind you that you are required to have a valid fare on you at all times and invite you to obtain a monthly pass that you can validate upon boarding:

  • STL monthly bus passes for August on sale since July 20 across all our points of sale
  • TRAM passes for August already on sale at ticket offices and other points of sale since July 20
  • OPUS+ memberships must be reactivated by August 10 if slated for use in September

OPUS cards : schedule an appointment to get or renew one

Effective August 1, OPUS cards will be issued and renewed by appointment only to foster social distancing at ticket offices. Make sure you’ve completed all of the required documents and to have them on you when leaving for your appointment.

Schedule appointments online (avaible soon)


General directives for everyone’s safety

For your safety, the safety of drivers and other riders:

  • Wear face covering.
  • FFECTIVE AUGUST 1: Gradual return to front-door boarding unless you are a passenger with reduced mobility, in which case, you may get on and off via the front door as per the driver’s instructions.
  • Passengers must continue to exit via the rear door only (except for people with reduced mobility).
  • Respect the protective buffer area and the new signs to be installed on buses.
  • Always carry valid fare: fare validation will resume effective August 1, as we gradually return to front-door boarding.
  • Avoid commuting during peak hours unless it is absolutely necessary: plan your trips by using our bus crowdedness forecaster.
  • Do not touch surfaces unnecessarily.
  • Do not take the bus if you have Coronavirus symptoms (fever, new or worsening cough, difficulty breathing, sudden loss of smell without nasal congestion – with or with loss of taste) or if you are self-isolating.
  • Do not eat on buses and never leave trash behind.
  • Apply the health directives from public health authorities.

Steps taken

We are in constant communication with government agencies and our fellow public transit authorities in a joint effort to find common solutions. We are adapting accordingly as new directives arise. As a public transit authority, the STL will continue to adhere to the recommendations of public health agencies.

The hygiene rules recognized and recommended by the provincial public health agency Santé publique are still the most effective way to prevent infection and the virus from spreading.

Here are the main preventive measures put in place by the STL.

REGULAR NETWORK
  • Distribution of 59,800 face coverings to bus users from the week of May 25.

  • Rear door boarding/exiting only, except for wheelchair riders.

  • As there are no fare boxes at the rear, presenting a bus ticket or pass is no longer required.
  • We have stepped up cleaning operations in our buses and facilities (head office and terminals) — in particular, handrails, poles and grab handles are now being cleaned every day.
  • In an effort to foster social distancing on shared taxi trips, ridership is being restricted to only 1 passenger per taxi.
  • Service is suspended on all integrated bus routes while schools are closed.
  • Service back to normal on senior residence routes until further notice.
  • Lost and found: we are currently strictly returning valuables for the time being (more details below).
  • The STL is developing a solution with a physical barrier as a way of further isolating drivers from users.
  • The smog rate, normally in effect from June 1 to Labor Day, will not be available this year.
PARATRANSIT SERVICE

Mailing of 1,000 face coverings to paratransit users (initial mailing of 500 the week of May 25, followed by a second mailing of 500 at a later date to be confirmed).

Minibus:

  • All vehicles are cleaned and sanitized daily.
  • As much as possible, vehicles are cleaned before picking up new clients.
  • All passengers are given hand sanitizer gel.
  • Maximum 2 passengers per vehicle (2 separate passengers or 1 passenger + his or her companion).

Taxi:

  • Taxi drivers providing paratransit service are cleaning their vehicles more often.
  • Maximum 1 passenger per taxi.
STL EMPLOYEES, PARTNERS, SUPPLIERS AND VISITORS
  • In order to contain the spread of the virus, children will not be permitted in any STL workplace, until further notice.
  • Access will be denied to anyone with Coronavirus symptoms.
  • Access will be denied to anyone back from abroad for less than 14 days or living with someone infected with the Coronavirus.


Bus crowdedness forecaster

During the COVID-19 pandemic, the STL released a tool it designed to help you decide when to take the bus. For each of your commutes, it provides an estimate of the level of bus occupancy you should expect for the entire length of your ride.


Additional information

ADJUSTMENTS TO OUR SERVICE

Since May 9, STL stepping up bus service:

  • Our bus service will be improved during the morning rush hour.
  • Bus frequency will be increased throughout the day.
  • These changes will improve connections with other transit modes such as commuter trains and the metro.
  • Learn more

Keep track of your bus schedule by regularly checking with one the following resources to find out upcoming bus times:

  • Consult schedules online
  • Text 511785 with the bus stop number appearing on the bus stop sign (bottom left)
  • Call 450 688-6520
LOST AND FOUND

We are currently strictly returning valuables for the time being. All other remaining items will be stored and returned to their owners at a later date, in order to reduce the risk of contamination as much as possible.

  • Valuables will be placed in a resealable slider bag: handbags, wallets, jewelry, eyeglasses, payment or ID cards, OPUS cards, cellphones, tablets, laptops, and other items or electronic equipment with an estimated value of $50 or more.
  • Perishable and highly contaminating items will automatically be thrown out: food, lunch boxes, reusable dishware, toques, scarves, neck warmers, gloves, mittens, etc.
  • Other items deemed non-essential or of lesser value will be stored for retrieval at a later date: umbrellas, notebooks, books, agendas, etc.

Call first to confirm that we have indeed found the item you lost. You will be required to provide a detailed description of the item, as well as your full name and telephone number.
Avoid coming here. If your item is found, we will contact you without fail with instructions on how and when to retrieve it.

If you’ve lost an item:

- in a bus: 450 688-6520 or 450 629-7226
- in a shared taxi: 450 688-8700 (Coop-Taxi Laval)
- around the Montmorency or Cartier terminal (bus/premises): 450 629-7226
- at the Concorde intermodal station: contact exo

EXTENSION OF TRANSIT FARE REFUNDS

The ARTM regional metropolitan transit authority, which oversees public transit fares for the metropolitan area, has implemented the following solutions. 
 
OPUS+ and OPUS+ entreprise memberships
More details here on the ARTM’s terms and conditions (French only).

For members who are continuing to use public transit or who failed to take appropriate action to change their membership status, monthly pass payments will continue as usual.

REM

As announced, Québec is reopening construction, consequently the REM work requiring the closure of the Mount Royal tunnel have restarted May 11. Mitigation measures began rolling out May 11.

Users of the exo6 Deux-Montagnes line are able to count on new shuttle busses, a new temporary bus platform, and three more reserved bus lanes on the Montréal leg of the network.

REPORTED CASES AT THE STL

As of July 31, 2020, 15 cases have been reported and 11 cases have been recovered at the STL.

The STL takes this situation very seriously and all means are being used to safeguard the health of our employees and transit users. Employees who test positive for COVID-19 are required to immediately self-isolate. Any and all surfaces and areas an infected employees has been in contact with are cleaned and disinfected at once.

Job category Number of cases Dates
Office workers 1 May 11, 2020
Maintenance and infrastructure personnel 2 April 15, 2020
Drivers and supervisors 12 May 22, 2020

 

WEARING A FACE COVERING IN PUBLIC

As of July 13, the government requires people ages 12 and up to wear a mask when using public transit. For its part, the STL has been focusing on fostering cooperation with users, keeping them informed, and raising awareness.

Users have an obligation to protect themselves and their fellow passengers, and we are asking them to comply with the mask rule given that it is not possible to social distance on buses. The STL needs everyone to cooperate and help promote civic-minded behaviour throughout the network.

Who is required to wear a mask?

-       All users ages 12 and up.

-       The use of a mask is recommended for children ages 2 to 11.

-       The use of a mask is not recommended for children under age 2.

STL exemptions:

-       Under age 12.

-       Preschoolers or elementary school students on school buses (yellow buses).

-       Users who cannot wear a mask due to a medical condition – simply mentioning that you have a medical condition that prevents you from wearing a mask will suffice. No other proof is required.

-       Users who must temporarily remove their mask for ID purposes.

The mask rule does not apply to shared taxis (neither for paratransit nor regular service). The use of a mask is however strongly recommended.

Masks are required for minibus paratransit service, but not for paratransit service via shared taxi.

A reminded that masks do not provide absolute protection against the virus. They help prevent the virus from spreading, PROVIDED we also follow all of the other health and hygiene rules in effect, such as:

-       washing your hands frequently

-       avoiding touching your face

-       coughing or sneezing in your elbow

THE CORRECT WAY TO WEAR AND USE A MASK

Some external sources worth consulting:

Health recommendations for everyone: Wearing a face covering in public 

COVID-19: Face covering guidelines for the general population (content in French) 

Coughing and sneezing without contaminating 

About non-medical masks and face coverings 

What is the correct way to wear a mask? (content in French) 

 

How to make your own face mask 

Some external sources worth consulting: 

Wearing face coverings in public: COVID-19 – Make your own face covering (content in French)  

Instructions for making a sew and no-sew cloth face covering  

What is the most effective material for face masks? (content in French) 

Face Mask 101: Making your own in a few steps (content in French) 

 

Where to find face masks

Some external sources worth consulting: 

EC3D (Laval firm)  

Where to buy protective cloth masks? (content in French) 

15 cloth masks made in Québec (content in French) 

14 Québec stores that sell washable cloth masks for adults and children (content in French) 


Inquiries regarding our service?

Our agents are also available to answer your questions pertaining to our service: 450 688-6520.

If you are a paratransit service user and would like to cancel a trip, please call the booking centre at 450 973-3111.