Montreal’s public transport agency has launched a new app feature that allows paratransit customers to track vehicle locations in real-time.
The Société de transport de Montréal’s (STM) SIRTA online reservation system – which is applicable to all minibuses and taxi partner vehicles – can be accessed via computer, tablet or smartphone, with vehicle location data available from up to ten minutes before the start of the pick-up window until the end of each trip.
“This is excellent news for customers who use SIRTA, because the new feature means that they can now look at a map and track the vehicle that is going to pick them up,” said Éric Alan Caldwell, Chair of the STM Board of Directors.
“The new feature is a testament to STM’s expertise in paratransit and our desire to drive innovation and improve the customer experience.”
Other features include estimated pick-up and drop-off times, the type of vehicle making the trip, whether a customer is next in line to board the vehicle, and an alert when the vehicle arrives.
Serge Poulin, General Director of transit accessibility advocacy group RUTA Montréal, welcomed the news, saying: “This is beneficial because people using paratransit services will be able to better manage their time with this information at their disposal.”
STM has provided door-to-door paratransit services for people with disabilities since 1980, with 35,000 customers now using the service to travel on and around the Island of Montreal.
Eight taxi services provide approximately 88 percent of all trips, with 86 minibuses providing the remaining 12 percent.
New Orleans expansion
Earlier this month, the New Orleans Regional Transit Authority (RTA) introduced 21 new paratransit vehicles into service, funded by a US$13 million grant from the Federal Transit Administration’s (FTA) 2020 Bus and Bus Facilities programme.
The agency’s paratransit service was one of 96 projects in 49 states and territories that were awarded a total of US$464 million in federal funding to purchase buses, paratransit vehicles and equipment in 2020.
“As the RTA continues to focus on building a completely accessible transit system, this addition of paratransit vehicles will improve the ridership experience for our most vulnerable riders,” said Mark Raymond, Jr., RTA Board of Commissioners Vice Chair.
“The RTA Board of Commissioners continues to work with the agency to advance improvements to service to riders with varying mobility needs.”
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