Starting Tuesday, Laval residents will have a new way to stay safe on buses during the COVID-19 pandemic. The Société de transport de Laval (STL) launched a new tool that will help bus riders track how many passengers are estimated to be on the bus. The STL says that they hope the service will help people "make informed decisions depending on bus crowdedness based on their comfort level."
"Since the project was already in the pipeline, we decided to push up the launch to make it available to users as soon as possible," said STL Board President Éric Morasse.
As the online tool is still in beta-testing, the STL asks that anyone who uses the service offer feedback, comments, and suggestions as to how to improve the service.
"We believe in the role public transit plays in supporting the reopening of the economy, but we also know it is no longer always possible to social distance on buses," said Morasse.
"Together with continuing to insist on the importance of wearing a mask, this new tool will enable Laval residents to make fully informed decisions about their bus commutes."
Bus riders in Laval can access the service via the STL's website.
Equipped with GPS technology and passenger tracking, STL buses record the occupancy levels at each bus stop, each bus route, at all hours of the day.
The trackers then calculate the estimated number of passengers are at each bus stop, based on an aggregate number tracked over five days.
❓𝘾𝙤𝙢𝙗𝙞𝙚𝙣 𝙮 𝙖𝙪𝙧𝙖-𝙩-𝙞𝙡 𝙙𝙚 𝙢𝙤𝙣𝙙𝙚 𝙙𝙖𝙣𝙨 𝙡𝙚 𝙗𝙪𝙨❓Planifiez vos trajets avec notre estimateur d’achalandage: évitez un voya… https://t.co/zhDbWSo0fo— STL (@STL) 1592316900.0
For now, this online tool will only be available during the weekday bus service.
Using the online service is incredibly simple and user-friendly. With easy-to-understand colour coordination, finding your best trip is just a couple of clicks away.
First, customers must select their preferred bus routes. Then, a map of that route pops up and shows you the estimated number of passengers at each stop on that route, as well as the real-time number of passengers on the bus.
There's also a detailed list of schedules and service updates. Customers can even select multiple bus routes and compare them, to better plan ahead.
Let's hope this technology shows up in Montreal sometime soon!