Public transportation offer within the Haut-Saint-Laurent RCM

Publié le 30 January 2024
The RCM (Regional County Municipality) of Haut-Saint-Laurent, located in Quebec, benefits from our Operation Control & PIS Geolite for the continuous improvement of transportation services.

As a long-standing client, the Haut-Saint-Laurent RCM is our first Canadian client and also the first Canadian client that is 100% Hubup, from conception to passenger information.

This summer, their mobility offering evolved, and we assisted them in their expansion project by providing an optimal experience for both drivers and passengers.

We took the opportunity to exchange with Michelle Beauchesne, Transportation Coordinator at the Haut-Saint-Laurent RCM, regarding this new commercial offering.

The Haut-Saint-Laurent RCM provides regular bus services, on-demand adapted transportation, and on-demand collective transportation.

For your information, Regional County Municipalities are administrative entities overseeing regional management of local municipalities. They have jurisdiction over mobility within their territory.

MRC du Haut-Saint-Laurent - transport


The mobility offering within the Haut-Saint-Laurent RCM evolved a few months ago. Can you tell me more about it?

We have the yellow line that goes to Sainte-Martine, and the blue and green lines that go to Salaberry-de-Valleyfield.

Overall, we kept the essential structure of the yellow and blue lines because they have been in place for over two years.

However, we modified the yellow line, instead of going all the way to Mercier, it now goes to Sainte-Martine. So, we subtracted perharps ten kilometers and reinvested it in one of our municipalities, Hinchinbrooke, completely at the other end of the line. This allows us to serve more citizens in the RCM.

We wanted the service to primarily benefit our taxpayers, but we kept the connection to Montreal. In fact, it doesn’t penalize anyone; those who used it to go to Montreal can still do so. Plus, we now serve one more municipality with the yellow line.

The blue line is essentially the same; we added one round trip per day, going from five to six. This serves more people in terms of frequency.

And the green line was added to reach two additional municipalities, Saint-Anicet and Franklin, which were not served by buses at all. These are municipalities with a good population base, and there was a demand for it. It’s gaining momentum, and I’m pleased to have worked hard on it. We’ve been preparing for this for months.

Did the result live up to expectations?

We received positive feedback from customers, especially for the new product line. We are very pleased about that. It’s always a bit of a gamble when you launch a new product, to see it the demand will be there. We were still confident because there was a need in this area, so it’s still encouraging.

Do you have an estimate of the number of people who will benefit from this new product line?

Actually, currently, for the first month, I would say we’re aiming to reach approximately 500 shipments, which is good, because for the other product lines, on average, we get between 800 and 1000 shipments per month, roughly.

Starting with 500 in the first month is really encouraging. It’s more than the other product lines initially, but we are aiming for at least 1000, and possibly even more, because it serves both Sainte-Barbe with Saint-Anicet and Ormstown with Franklin.

The green line covers four municipalities, and we extend beyond our territory to Valleyfield. Although we don’t go as far into Valleyfield, we connect with the STSV (Société de transport de Salaberry-de-Valleyfield) in the end.

With the new service, is it the Haut-Saint-Laurent RCM that manages the entire area, or do you collaborate with other RCMs?

For the out-of-territory service, we collaborate to some extent with Valleyfield, and Sainte-Martine is in the process of re-evaluating their offerings as well, from what I can see. It’s important to keep an eye on that to ensure we maintain connections with Montreal through the Exo service (Public transportation in the Greater Montreal area).

How is the implementation of a new service handled in your area, both at the municipality level, with the operator, and among the drivers?

The main challenge always remains the same, which is finding a sufficient workforce. Currently, we are fortunate to have all our drivers, and we are able to serve all our routes. I would say that is always a bit of the crux of the matter.

We recruited a new driver, of course, because we implemented a new route. We couldn’t manage it with the existing staff we had before. So, with the new route, there’s a new driver, and that brings a lot of changes to handle simultaneously. There were some hiccups in the first few days, but that’s part of the adjustment. We called for people’s patience and understanding.

I believe the excitement of having a new service outweighs the minor hiccups in the beginning. We are adapting, but seriously, since the first week, we have seen a significant improvement.

Have the newcomers been able to easily familiarize themselves with the tool?

Yes, with the Hubup tool, the new recruit, being younger and tech-friendly, has adapted quite easily. It’s a bit more challenging for the older and retired individuals. We often have retirees working for us who may encounter some issues, but with a few adjustments with your team, such as guidance instructions or similar aspects, Antoine has been addressing them gradually. My experienced drivers are accustomed to the sector and car compensate for these situations.

Do you have any other upcoming development projects?

I would like to see further development, but it all depends on the funding from the Ministry of Transport because we need to justify the service. We need a significant number of people using it.

I’ve already identified areas I would like to serve due to demand, and it also requires the willingness of the mayors. Probably in 2024.

Now, we will take the time to stabilize the green line and increase ridership. But if I can successfully justify my three lines, I might eventually apply for funding for a fourth one.

Crossing our fingers ! Thank you for the update, and see you soon!

You’re welcome! See you soon.
Québec - MRC du Haut-Saint-Laurent
Hubup Livemap - MRC du Haut-Saint-Laurent
Québec - MRC du Haut-Saint-Laurent transport

Thanks to Michelle and the teams of the Haut-Saint-Laurent RCM for their trust! We wish them a safe journey!