The Société de transport de Laval (STL) received the “Grand prix d’excellence en transport” in the public transit category during a gala event organized by the Association québécoise du transport (AQTr) earlier this month. The award is in recognition of the STL’s pilot project enabling buses to accept Visa and Mastercard credit card payments.
The technology is a contact-less instant tap-and-pay system, like the one used by retailers, so there is no learning curve for riders. For a whole year after launching the project in 2017, which was a Canadian first, the STL continued to be the only public transit authority in the country to offer this service, and still, today is the only one providing it in Québec.
“It is essential for our industry to keep pace with riders and consumer trends, especially when it comes to occasional users. Paying for your bus fare with your credit card simplifies the process all the way, and eliminates the biggest obstacle to incorporating public transit into your commuting behaviour,” says STL Board President, Éric Morass.
The STL has recorded 150,000+ transactions since the start of the project. Remarkably, it has found that over 44% of the cards were used only once, clearly demonstrating that this service is fulfilling a need for occasional and very occasional users. Tapping and paying with a credit card is a major public transit trend worldwide. The STL’s project has helped accelerate its application in the metropolitan area and shown it is a feasible solution.
About the Société de transport de Laval
The STL develops and operates an integrated network consisting of buses, school transport, shared taxis, and paratransit transport which together combine for 22+ million trips per year. The STL is among the most innovative transit authorities in North America, thanks to initiatives such as being the first in Québec to operate a 100% electric 40-foot bus and introducing as early as 2010 a passenger information system that dispatches real-time bus arrival information to riders. In 2017, the STL rebranded its Quality Commitment Program into the only customer service pledge of its kind in Canada. That same year, it also became the first transit authority in Canada to accept credit cards on buses. www.stl.laval.qc.ca.