Michel Labrecque, chairman of the Board of Directors of the Société de transport de Montréal (STM), introduces the “Remastered” night network, which seeks to improve overall service on the entire Island of Montréal for the benefit of the STM’s night passengers. Starting June 27, 2011, bus frequency will increase every night of the week after the métro closes for overnight maintenance, from 1 a.m. to 5 a.m.
“The Remastered night network will improve service on the Island of Montréal by providing 95% of island residents with access to a night route within less than a kilometre of their home. On one hand, these improvements will increase direct service between the outlying parts of the island and downtown by more than doubling the percentage of homes within easy reach of a route serving the downtown core, from 25% to 58%. On the other hand, the new network will feature easier connections, reducing the number of required transfers by more than 25% overall,” said Mr. Labrecque.
The “Remastered” night network
Three new routes will be added to better serve the eastern and western tips of the island: 353 Lacordaire / Maurice-Duplessis, 354 Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue / Centre-ville and 376 Pierrefonds / Centre-ville.
Also, the itineraries on nine of the 20 existing routes will be modified, namely through extensions and greater bus frequency. The nine routes are: 350 Verdun / LaSalle, 355 Pie-IX, 356 Lachine / Mtl-Trudeau / Des Sources (formerly 356 Sainte-Anne-de-Bellevue), 358 Sainte-Catherine, 360 Avenue des Pins, 362 Hochelaga / Notre-Dame (formerly 362 Notre-Dame), 364 Sherbrooke / Joseph-Renaud (formerly 364 Hochelaga), 378 Sauvé / Mtl-Trudeau (formerly 378 Sauvé / Côte-Vertu) and 382 Pierrefonds / Saint-Charles (formerly 382 Pierrefonds).
Lastly, the number of departures on five other routes of the original network will rise: 357 Saint-Michel, 369 Côte-des-Neiges, 370 Rosemont, 371 Décarie and 380 Henri-Bourassa.
“By increasing the number of night routes from 20 to 23, every night of the week, we will better meet the transportation needs of this particular clientele consisting mainly of night workers and people out for a night on the town.” Financed by the public transit services improvement program administered jointly by the Government of Québec and the City of Montréal, these new measures come in response to the findings of studies carried out in the past year. The studies included consultations with people representing employers and student associations, as well as with customers who used the STM Web site,” added Mr. Labrecque.
The “La nuit, êtes-vous 350?” (At night, are you a 350?) promotional campaign
To foster adoption of the new service, the STM will run a promotional campaign throughout the summer and fall. With the theme “La nuit, êtes-vous 350?” (At night, are you 350?)—the number refers to the first of the night bus routes, which are numbered from 350 to 382—billboards will be placed in bus shelters, on bus schedules, and in some 60 downtown restaurants and bars, to reach a clientele comprised primarily of festival-goers, revellers and night workers. Moreover, starting June 15, 2011, an animated night bus map will be available at www.stm.info; it will display the entire “new and improved” night network and provide information on all of the routes. The public will be kept abreast of the latest developments on the Info.STM page in the 24 heures daily, in Nightlife magazine, and through various social media sites like Facebook.
Find your routes with Labatt
Moreover, the STM and Labatt will join forces and invite festival-goers and night owls to choose a night bus as their “designated driver.” In addition to decking out a bus in Night network colours and having it roam Montréal’s streets all summer long, a promotional team will visit a number of downtown businesses to introduce the public to the night network.
“This new ‘remastered’ network is the second phase of the complete overhaul of the STM’s entire bus network, which follows in the wake of the 10 Minutes Max network launch last year. The new night network was designed to cut wait times and improve efficiency for the travelling public. In all, passengers will benefit from 43,000 additional hours of night service each year, an increase of 73% over last year,” said Mr. Labrecque.
Starting this week, customers will be able to consult the summer Planibus schedules for these routes and, as part of the STM’s celebrations highlighting 150 years of public transit in Montréal, each Planibus will include a historic description of the route. The schedules will also feature a customized look for each of the three types of bus routes: a new night route, a “remastered” night route or a daytime route.