Longueuil, June 14, 2022 - While the COVID-19 pandemic continued to impact the Réseau de transport de Longueuil (RTL) in 2021, it did not stop the organization from forming new partnerships and spearheading several projects to improve its service offer.
In its annual report released today, the RTL confirms that ridership continued to fluctuate throughout 2021. Despite progress made during the summer, when all signs pointed toward a recovery in the public transit sector, ridership in the last three months of the year took a hit after new variants emerged, touching off additional waves of the virus.
However, with offices reopening this past spring and workers returning to downtown Montréal, we should see a more pronounced revival in the months ahead.
Highlights of the RTL 2021 annual report
- The RTL continued to pursue its optimization plan by maintaining its service offer at 91% compared to 2019 (pre-pandemic reference year). For the second consecutive year, sound management and tight cost control measures enabled the RTL to save money compared to the original budget—$15.1 M in 2021 versus $32.6 M in 2020. In 2021, the RTL had a balanced operating surplus for tax purposes, since the compensation paid by the Autorité régionale de transport métropolitain (ARTM) was based on the expenses incurred.
- In anticipation of the launch of the Réseau express métropolitain (REM) in 2022, the RTL has completed its public consultations and stepped up its review of the network, which will be significantly transformed by the arrival of the REM.
- The public consultations on the evolution of the network were a great success: More than 6,600 visits have been made to the RTL’s consultation platform since it first went live in 2021. Nearly 4,400 documents and maps have already been added and some 700 contributions and comments have been submitted.
- Ridership gradually picked up over 2021, reaching nearly 52% by early December. Overall, there was a 10% drop in regular transit ridership compared to the previous year. Conversely, paratransit ridership was up 9.9%.
- The RTL took a major step forward in its electrification plan with the introduction of its first fully electric buses. It also became the first public transit agency in Québec to put 9-metre, 100% electric, slow-charging midibuses on the road. These five vehicles are operating in each of the cities in the Agglomération de Longueuil as a pilot project, free of charge as an incentive to users to try them out.
- Adopted by the Board of Directors in September, the RTL’s 2021-2026 Plan de développement en accessibilité universelle involved numerous stakeholders, including community organizations, partners from the integrated health and social services centres (CISSS), the cities within the Agglomération, and all levels of the RTL. Some 40 concrete measures were proposed to improve our services for people with reduced mobility.
- From July to October, the RTL was very pleased to partner with the CISSS de la Montérégie-Centre, making one of its buses available for use as a mobile vaccination clinic. The team from the Direction de santé publique de la Montérégie visited various neighbourhoods in 14 municipalities on the territory to inform local residents and encourage them to get vaccinated. By the end of the initiative, no fewer than 4,700 people along a 2,300-kilometre route had been vaccinated.
- In November, the RTL implemented a series of initiatives as part of the measures developed jointly with Transports Québec and the ARTM to offer drivers sustainable mobility alternatives amidst the work on the Louis-Hippolyte-La Fontaine Bridge-Tunnel. These include line 461, which connects the De Mortagne and De Touraine park-and-ride lots with the Radisson terminal in Montréal, and service improvements on line 61 between Boucherville and the Radisson terminal.
- The RTL has also improved the T89-T92 and T93 shared taxi services, which mainly run between the industrial sectors of Boucherville and the De Mortagne park-and-ride lot, which was expanded in December 2021.
- During the 2021-2022 school year, the RTL transported 7,075 students under transit agreements for high school students from the Marie-Victorin school service centre, the Riverside School Board, and the Des Patriotes school service centre. This represented an additional 500 students compared to the previous year.
- For the comfort and safety of users, 36 new bus shelters were installed as part of the RTL’s bus stop management plan, which anticipates the replacement of 98 bus shelters over a three-year period ending in 2022.
- To reduce its impact on the environment and manage its waste responsibly, the RTL has undertaken to develop a management plan that applies the 3R-RD principles by promoting the reduction, reuse, recycling and reclamation of waste, whether in the garage, on the road or in the office.
For more information, see Annual Reports - RTL (rtl-longueuil.qc.ca)
“2021 will be unlike any other! The Board was impressed by the efforts shown by our employees throughout the organization, including implementing health and safety measures for users and staff, setting up the Vaccibus, signing new agreements with school service centres, developing a waste management plan, and completing phase 2 of the public consultations on the “new” network that will take shape with the arrival of the REM on the South Shore.
“From a business perspective, the RTL also formed new partnerships and initiated several projects to improve its service offer. The accomplishments of the past year are a testament to the strength and flexibility of our organization in keeping pace with the needs and expectations of citizens.”
– Geneviève Héon, Chair of the RTL Board of Directors
About the RTL
The Réseau de transport de Longueuil (RTL) is the main transit provider for individuals within the five cities that comprise the Agglomération de Longueuil.
The third-largest public transit organization in Québec, the RTL operates a network of 793 kilometres. With some 1,100 employees, the RTL is a major employer that contributes to the economic vitality of the region.
Ever receptive to its users, the RTL plays a key role in the lives of the people and the communities it serves by providing solutions that are efficient, innovative, and adapted to the evolving needs
of its clientele. Improving quality of life for the citizens of the Agglomération de Longueuil is a top priority for the RTL.