No one would ever honestly say that Laval is superior to Montreal.
Even folks from Laval know that Montreal is the better city in every possible way imaginable.
Well, except in one department, because there is one area where Laval beats Montreal.
It's public transit.
When it comes right down to it, the Société de transport de Laval (STL) blows the Société de transport de Montréal (STM) out of the water.
That may come as a surprise, especially since the STM was recently named Canada's best public transit system.
But a comparison between the STM and STL wasn't included in that ranking. Actually, the STL contributed to Montreal's top-spot, since it is technically part of "Greater Montreal."
What makes the STL so great? A commitment to technology and change that definitely surpasses the STM.
A few weeks ago, the STL announced the creation of a “techno transit centre” that will serve as a hub for the development of new transit technologies.
The City of Laval hopes the incubator, called Centre d’incubation et d’accélération en mobilité intelligente à Laval, will entice major tech companies to invest in Laval.
$420,000 a year will be invested in the transit tech centre over the next three years, and the incubator will no-doubt help to improve a public transit system that is already technologically advanced. At least compared to the STM.
With financial help from the federal and provincial government, the STL is buying a 22-bus fleet of hybrid buses outfitted with air conditioning and satellite tracking so users have access to real-time updates, says CBC.
70 STL bus shelters will be souped-up with electric signs thanks to the funding and charging stations will be set up.
Always looking forward, the STL is already sectioning off money for driverless, electrically-powered buses, too.
All of these new additions to Laval’s public transit system will catapult the STL even farther ahead of the STM.
But Laval’s public transit service is already enjoying an amazing feature entirely lacking in Montreal: being able to pay for fares by credit card.
On certain STL buses, users can pay with their credit card, as part of the STL’s newly launched pilot project.
Laval is actually the first place in the entire country to launch credit card payment for transit users, showcasing just how innovative the STL really is.
Don't get us wrong, the STM is great. It's just that the STL is better. And it looks like the gap between the two transit companies will only grow wider as the STL adds more technological improvements to its existing services.
Let's hope the STM catches up, because paying for the bus with a credit card sounds like a dream come true.