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What does an easy travel experience mean to you?

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What element would make all parts of a trip seamless and easier?

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What do you think will have the greatest impact on transportation planning for the future?

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Universal access is an inclusive approach that considers the needs of the entire population. A regular, universally accessible public transit service allows everyone to travel and use the same services, at the same time and in the same way.

Co-modality implies the efficient use of different modes of transport, individually or in combination, so as to achieve optimal and sustainable use of resources. It is no longer a case of trying to pit one mode of transport against another.

Multimodal transport hubs can be of different sizes: a central station, bus or commuter train station, metro station, bus network terminus, park-and-ride lot, single bus stop connecting several busy lines.

WHIM service, developed in Finland and available in several European cities, offers various packages that allow users to travel by taxi, public transport, bicycle or carsharing in exchange for a single monthly fee.

Autorité régionale
de transport métropolitain

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Offering everyone an easy, integrated, seamless and efficient travel experience

What is an easy travel experience?

We all need to get around. We can use several modes of public or private transportation over the course of a day or a single trip. But how can we make this travel experience enjoyable?

Switching from one mode of transport to another must be facilitated by high-quality physical and virtual interfaces. To make it inclusive, the travel experience must take into account the needs of the entire population, and barriers to mobility faced by people with reduced mobility — including disabled and elderly people — must be removed.

Technological advances and new business models are changing the world rapidly. It is important, then, that we prepare for these changes to ensure passengers enjoy an easy, integrated, seamless, efficient and sustainable travel experience.

A public transit network for everyone

Public transport networks that are easier to access not only benefit people with reduced mobility, but are an asset for all public transit users. Universal access to transportation services plays a major role in increasing the social participation of people with disabilities by removing barriers to mobility. It serves people with motor, intellectual, visual, hearing, language and speech disabilities, as well as the elderly, pregnant women and people travelling with strollers or packages. Citizens with a temporary disability (fracture, injury) and illiterate individuals can also enjoy universal access to services. In the end, society as a whole benefits from universal access to public transit services.

Gradually installing elevators in metro and train stations, improving and simplifying signage, including audio functions at fare vending machines and renewing bus fleets equipped with a front access ramp are some of the initiatives taken by PUBLIC TRANSIT AUTHORITIES in the metropolitan area to develop inclusive mobility. Upgrading stations and terminals in general, and installing elevators in particular, can grow in scale given the complexity involved in any construction in a built environment that has not been designed for this purpose.

An integrated vision of universal access

The connectivity of the various public transport networks remains a key issue in developing universal access throughout the region. For people with reduced mobility, the main barrier to using regular networks is equipment and infrastructures that are not adapted to their needs and functional limitations. Moreover, information and communication tools are not always tailored to all clienteles.

Addressing all components of the travel chain allows us to identify actions to be taken so that people with functional limitations can fully enjoy all public transit services (from planning routes, getting to stops, purchasing transit fares or travelling between and within the various networks.

Consolidating a regional vision

A coherent approach is crucial to creating barrier-free routes for users with functional limitations. This is all the more true when they have to use more than one public transit network for their trips, as can be the case in our region.

Elsewhere in the world, regional public transit agencies have introduced various strategies to ensure coherent planning. These include developing an integrated system for managing transport networks, initiating regional strategic planning, establishing bodies to coordinate actions between operators and creating platforms for dialogue and consultation with associations.

Customer journey map

1

Travel planning

2

Access to departure points

Bus station/Train station/Terminus/Stop/Parking

3

Navigating the infrastructure

4

Purchasing a ticket

5

Waiting on site

6

Trips within modes of transportation

7

Transfers between modes of transportation

In fact, developing universal access throughout the travel chain at the regional scale will require the ARTM and transportation partners, such as public transit agencies and municipalities, which are responsible for road infrastructure like sidewalks, to work closely together. Engaging and consulting partners are key factors to ensuring the region’s entire public transport network is more accessible.

The challenge of integrated mobility

Co-modality for the optimal integration of public and private modes of transport

Although the proliferation of mobility services offers people a greater choice of modes of travel, it can sometimes be hard for them to find their way around. Each operator, whether public (public transport or bikesharing) or private (taxi or carsharing), acts according to the business model that suits it best. As a result, individuals wishing to travel by more than one mode of transport must figure out the different fares and rules of use in advance to determine the best route.

To create a more seamless travel experience, where it is easy to get around and switch from one service or mode to another, each network must be designed to be consistent with the other networks, particularly in terms of territorial coverage and possible intermodal connections. This requires coordination that takes into account the plurality of stakeholders responsible for providing transport services in the territory and proposing solutions for integrating transport modes.

What do we mean by a seamless travel experience ?

Harmonizing customer experience

Our main objective is to provide public transit users in the greater metropolitan area of Montréal with routes that are as seamless and uniform as possible throughout the territory. An integrated information and after-sales service counter, which would eventually include all the mobility services offered, would reduce the irritants between the entry and exit points of a user’s journey.

Multimodal transport hubs

The concept of a multimodal transport hub is especially important when diversifying mobility services. These places, where modes of transport intersect, also include services and communities. The location of multimodal transport hubs should allow as many users as possible to access them using a variety of modes. To do this, two aspects must be considered: the site’s connectivity to the pedestrian, bicycle and road network, and employment density around the site, which allows the population to be concentrated near the hubs. They must also be located in a way that reflects the flow of people’s movements.

A successful link between transport planning and land-use planning, multimodal transport hubs offer citizens seamless and efficient mobility and promote denser urban development. In 2017, Montréal inaugurated its first mobility hub to support more active and sustainable mobility near the Square-Victoria-OACI metro station. The station was identified as a strategic connection point in the city, where several major travel hubs are concentrated, offering several modes of transport other than single occupancy car use.

Multimodal transport hubs are expected to multiply and offer a functional and pleasant travel experience, as well as an opportunity to enjoy the surrounding urban environment.

The travel experience : striving for excellence

Taking different approaches to improve the travel experience in the region:

  • The availability of real-time information reduces the perception of waiting time. It also allows users to choose the best route based on existing service conditions. Users sometimes get to choose from travel options offered by more than one operator, or in some cases, use more than one network on their trip, so it is essential that the information be integrated into all public transit systems.
  • Effective signage informs, identifies, guides and helps travellers find their way around. Integrating modern signage throughout the territory, inspired by best practices worldwide and aimed at meeting the needs of all users, is a must for the coming years.
  • New payment methods that are faster, more flexible and intuitive are being developed. The introduction of new technology, such as mobile phones for both fare products and payment, is inevitable. Combining different subscriptions using the same technology or creating multimodal packages are also currently being developed.

The human touch and personalized side to it is important to me!

Liette, Rosemère

Planning for future

Since planning over a 30-year horizon involves some risk, the time frame must include adaptative measures and a monitoring process to ensure its relevance and resilience over time. Several major trends are emerging that will affect future mobility, including climate change, technological developments (e.g. autonomous vehicles) and job relocation, which will likely lead to more people working from home or on flexible schedules.

Technological advances and new business models

Autonomous vehicles represent a new mobility feature whose benefits and drawbacks, as with any new technology, must be taken into account when developing mobility services for the territory. This type of service offers interesting potential for feeder routes toward a more structured mode of public transit and could also be used to serve low-density residential or industrial areas.

In Candiac, an independent 15‑passenger shuttle has been servicing a 2-km stretch of road since October 2018. This is a one-year pilot project.

Integrated mobility or MaaS (Mobility as a Service) is an approach that seeks to meet people’s global mobility needs by simplifying access to sustainable mobility services (public transport, taxi, carpooling, bikesharing and carsharing, car rental). A MaaS operator acts as an interface between all mobility services and customers in order to offer them a mobility package tailored to their needs.

A growing number of metropolitan areas have a keen interest in the concept of integrated mobility, which facilitates access to mobility services. In our region, the Chrono platform could become a tool for sharing, coordinating, purchasing and using mobility services for all citizens in the region, regardless of their travel habits.

The electrification of transportation is a priority for the government of Québec, which, starting in 2025, intends to finance only the purchase of 100% electric vehicles for passenger transportation. Several PTAs are already proposing projects along these lines. Moreover, the development of heavy rail systems such as the REM and the extension of the metro system will contribute significantly to the number of trips made using sustainable transportation in the metropolitan area.

Focusing on innovation

The region must seize every opportunity to ensure that it provides an easy, integrated, seamless and efficient travel experience. The following avenues can be explored to stimulate innovation: monitoring technological developments and the emergence of new business models, creating strategic partnerships, preparing for the electrification of transport and analyzing the available data.

Reducing GHGs for lower-carbon mobility

Numerous efforts have been made in Québec in recent years to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and oil consumption. More recently, the Politique de mobilité durable (Sustainable Mobility Policy) adopted by the government of Québec confirmed its intention to move towards lower-carbon mobility. More concretely, it restated the target reduction of 40% below the 2013 level for oil consumption in the transport sector by 2030. In addition, in accordance with the Plan d’action sur les changements climatiques 2013-2020 (2013-2020 Climate Change Action Plan), it set the target of reducing greenhouse gas emissions in the transport sector by 37.5% below the 1990 level.

Climate change

Despite efforts to meet Québec’s GHG emission reduction targets, particularly in the transport sector, the risks associated with climate change – floods, heat waves, infrastructure failures – require action by public authorities. While municipalities are key players in adapting to these phenomena, the ARTM and PTAs must ensure the resilience of the metropolitan area’s transportation networks and infrastructure. An adaptation strategy will be developed to help us make the transportation system less vulnerable to climate change.

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