An accessible mode of transportation
Public transportation has always been a key element in terms of development and urban form. Since any activity can be accessible by public transportation, this creates a dynamic interaction and facilitates the presentation of an activity over the course of an entire day. This is all the more important for certain segments of the population, who otherwise would not be able to get around. People who do not own a car, those who do not have a driver’s license, seniors and young people depend more on public transportation for their mobility needs.
Therefore, thanks to the public transportation organizations, 90% of households are guaranteed a transportation option which is less than a five-minute walk from their residence. Also, public transportation allows users to access all basic services, such as health care and education, or to use public transit for work and leisure purposes, as it covers 90% of traffic lanes in areas where these activities are offered.
By providing equal opportunity in terms of accessibility needs for everyone, public transportation allows the improvement of equity and fairness between people. Within the context of an aging population, its importance is even more pressing.
Universal accessibility plan: a legal obligation
Moreover, public transportation organizations are required by law to adopt a universal accessibility plan, in accordance with the Act to secure handicapped persons in the exercise of their rights with a view to achieving social, school and workplace integration. According to article 67 of this Act, which was modified at the end of 2004, a public transportation organization must, within the year following December 17, 2004, submit for approval to the Minister of Transport a development program for the purpose of providing, within a reasonable period, public transportation for handicapped persons within the territory served by it. The Minister of Transport may approve the program, or, as the case may be, require that it be modified. Such a program may take into account the rate of equipment replacement and the nature of the services offered. Significant sums are still being invested in order to improve the universal accessibility of public transportation.
An affordable way to satisfy our everyday mobility needs
The public at large is faced with very significant mobility-related costs. Indeed, transportation represents the second-highest expenditure for Quebec households, ranking immediately behind housing and even ahead of the purchasing of food. On the other hand, using public transportation on a daily basis is nine times cheaper than relying on motor vehicles. Public transportation is clearly an economical solution.
Public transportation contributes to the well-being of people!
It is a daily source of physical activity, as each day, public transportation users take thousands of steps!
Public transportation also has a positive impact on public health and citizens’ quality of life, because it reduces noise nuisance and stress levels, while improving air quality.
A safe choice
Public transportation is 10 to 20 times safer than transportation by car: it helps to reduce the number of road accidents and the number of road victims. Furthermore, urban development and public transportation equipment help secure neighbourhoods thanks to a reduction in speed and traffic.
- A study of the economic impact of the nine public transportation organizations in Quebec, 2014 (French only)
- ATUQ’s sustainable development report, 2013 (French only)
- The contribution of public transportation to sustainable development in Quebec, 2008, 2009, 2010 (French only)
- Studies published by the ATUQ
- Briefs published by the ATUQ
- Presentation delivered by Marie Turcotte, the Paratransit Users’ Representative, who sits on the Board of Directors of the Société de transport de Montréal and Colette Éthier, President of the Board of Directors of the Réseau de transport de Longueuil – Universal accessibility to public transportation – ATUQ 2014 Conference (French only)
- Act to secure handicapped persons in the exercise of their rights with a view to achieving social, school and workplace integration