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STM, AMT Meeting the Needs of Montréal

Representatives of the two host agencies of the Rail Conference, the Société de transport de ­Montréal (STM) and Agence métropolitaine de transport (AMT), spoke at the June 16 Host Forum about their agencies’ efforts to keep improving their service to the Montreal region.

Panelists were Dominique Lemay, executive director of the Métro system, and Pierre Bourbonnière, marketing director, both representing STM, and from AMT, Stéphane Lapierre, vice president-operations, and Lynne Gagnon, marketing director. Lemay and Lapierre are also co-chairs of the APTA Rail Conference Planning Subcommittee.

Montréal has special public transportation needs, Gagnon explained, because the region includes 83 separate municipalities on two islands (the city and neighboring Laval) and the North Shore and South Shore areas. The city is the second largest in Canada and about the same size as Boston, she said.

Lapierre noted that AMT, which provides commuter rail service on five lines and is preparing to launch a sixth, works with 14 public transit operators throughout the area. Future projects he mentioned include light rail transit on a bridge being replaced and a BRT line.

He and Gagnon detailed ways that a prospective rider can learn about AMT’s services from the agency’s website, launched April 1: a region-wide trip planner incorporating data from all operators in all modes, an option that allows users to build a profile and list favorite routes or other services, and a feature that uses data on all 700 fares in the area to help riders calculate the most efficient way to travel. The app also allows users to access real-time information and service status.

Bourbonnière called STM “a key driver of economic development in the Montréal area that contributes to sustainable development and quality of life.” He said that last year STM, which dates to 1861, provided a record 416.5 million passenger trips.

Lemay noted that the Métro is completely below ground and connects at several points with the city’s underground retail and business development.

He also said STM is preparing to introduce 468 Azur cars from Bombardier and Alstom to allow the retirement of 336 railcars in operation since the Métro opened in 1966. Another fleet of railcars still in operation is 36 years old.

Another issue addressed by Bourbonnière was customer relationship management. Like AMT, STM has targeted an app to satisfy rider needs: STM Merci provides discounts and other information tailored to the individual user.

Host Forum panelists, from left: Dominique Lemay, Stéphane Lapierre,  Lynne Gagnon, and Pierre Bourbonnière.

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