Martin C. Barry
In anticipation of the opening of Place Bell next year and a significant rise in activity that will probably be generated as a result in Laval’s central core, the city’s public transit authority has announced the launch of a new bus line connecting the Montmorency Metro station to the growing number of attractions and services to be found in downtown Laval.
Convenient without a car
The Société de Transport de Laval says its new No. 360 bus line was designed to meet the travel needs of the many visitors staying in hotels around downtown Laval who don’t have access to a car, as well as those who might prefer to park their car and use the bus to visit the many areas of interest around the Centropolis and the Carrefour Laval.
“Downtown Laval’s tourist attractions are increasingly popular destinations,” said De Cotis who joined officials from the STL, Tourisme Laval and the Cosmodôme for the launch of the 360 line at the Maeva Surf interior surfing boutique and bar at the Centropolis earlier this week.
Opening downtown Laval
“By offering access to these locations, we are facilitating travel and providing access to the people of Laval and Montreal who want to explore this area and delve into its offerings,” he added. In an interview with the Laval News, De Cotis acknowledged that part of the reason for creating the new line is to open Laval’s downtown area to an increasing number of people from Montreal so they can have easier access.
“As the bus will be running every 20 minutes, it will be very advantageous for people from Montreal to come to Laval for all the growing amount of tourist attractions we have in our downtown such as the hotels, the Centropolis, Centre Laval and Carrefour Laval,” said De Cotis. At the same time, he also acknowledged that the 360 shuttle takes into account the anticipated activity and growth that will probably be generated by Place Bell.
Fulfilling a demand
STL executive-director Guy Picard said that according to a survey of their ridership conducted last August, 51 per cent of those surveyed used the bus to travel to one or more of the destinations on the 360 line route. “The addition of the 360 line will certainly respond to this need as well as to the needs of the many thousands of visitors that come to Laval,” said Picard.
“The 360 bus line is a great example of Tourisme Laval’s role within our tourism industry, which is to support growth-market projects that allow increasing the number of visitors and contribute to structuring our offer,” said Geneviève Roy, president and CEO of the tourism development agency. “In our opinion, the 360 line is a tourist product by itself since it’s an asset that enhances the attractiveness of our tourist sites, making them more accessible to a greater number of visitors.”
Making travel to Laval easier
Marc De Blois, executive-director of one of Laval’s most popular and widely-known attractions, the Cosmodôme, was also very enthusiastic about the project. “This partnership with the STL positions Laval as a choice destination,” he said. “The 360 bus line will help us reach this goal by making it easier to travel around this part of the city.”
Although the line will initially be operating on weekends only from now to June 19, by this summer it will be going into operation seven days a week starting June 20 until Aug. 26. After that, it will be resuming a weekends-only schedule until next Dec. 31.
Major attractions on line
The 360 line will be making regular scheduled stops at many of central Laval’s most popular attractions, including the Centre Laval shopping mall, the St-Martin Hotel & Suites, the Palace congress centre, the Comfort Inn/Quality Suites, the Hilton and Holiday Inn Laval, the Cosmodôme, and of course the Carrefour Laval and the Centropolis. Standard STL fares will be charged. The STL says the schedule could vary in accordance with the seasons, as summer is generally a busier time of year.