Canada/Abitibi-Ouest MRC wants to improve its public transit service

Published on 04/03/2024 | La rédaction


The MRC d'Abitibi-Ouest is looking to improve its Coup de pouce rural public transit service.

The system was set up some fifteen years ago to enable users to get around using existing cab and bus services in the area.

Its aim is to improve mobility for citizens by offering them less expensive transport.

However, the authorities realize that it is becoming costly for La Sarre's outlying residents. The system doesn't meet everyone's needs, and it's becoming costly for people living in Normétal or Taschereau, for example, who travel to La Sarre. So we want to see what we can do to improve mobility for people on our territory," explains MRC General Manager Normand Lagrange.

Last fall, the MRC asked a consultant to assist in a process to improve the system.

According to MRC General Manager Normand Lagrange, a preliminary report on the service has been submitted and should help identify possible avenues for improvement.

The final version of the action plan will be submitted to the MRC council in mid-May," says Lagrange.

It's clear that we need to find a way to get people who are further away from the town of La Sarre to travel at a reasonable cost. [At the moment] even though we subsidize 50% of the fare with the Ministry's program, it's still expensive," explains the general manager.

Falling ridership

The MRC has even noted a drop in ridership in recent years, from 26,800 trips in 2019 to 14,100 in 2021, before picking up again last year to reach 17,400.

A decline attributed to the health crisis, among other factors, explains Normand Lagrange.

The MRC also wants to take advantage of the government's public transit assistance programs.

"It's clear that the government must help us in this area, help us better, help us more, considering that we're in a resource region that doesn't have enough resources to meet our needs.We're in a resource region that doesn't have the same realities as Quebec City or Montreal, for example.


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