SHERBROOKE, QUEBEC--(Marketwire - Sept. 25, 2012) - "People's travel habits have changed a lot over the past few years, and transportation agencies have to adapt quickly to meet their needs," says CUTA President and CEO Michael Roschlau.
That is precisely why CUTA's most recent annual general meeting adopted a new vision of urban mobility that, according to Roschlau, "goes beyond the traditional conception of public transit in that it aims to inspire and influence the development of integrated urban mobility."
The CUTA Executive Committee chose Sherbrooke to hold its annual strategic planning session, its first working session since adopting the new sustainable mobility vision,. CUTA Chair Bob Paddon explains that "the choice of Sherbrooke has symbolic significance because the Sustainable Mobility Plan establishes the city and the Société de transport de Sherbrooke as true leaders in integrated urban mobility in Canada." In addition to convincingly demonstrating the real possibility of planning travel differently by offering a wide range of mobility options and fostering partnerships, the Sherbrooke Sustainable Mobility Plan (SMP) is based on "a bold and visionary approach that charts a new course for the entire industry," adds Paddon.
Speaking on behalf of the city, David W. Price, Lennoxville Borough Council President and Administrator of the Société de transport de Sherbrooke (STS), said he is "especially pleased with the association's presence in Sherbrooke because CUTA's Transit Vision 2040 supports and is consistent with the significant contribution public transportation represents for quality of life as foreseeable changes in communities impact on public transportation over the next few decades, requiring strategic directions that can optimize our quality of life."
After recalling the milestones of the process that led to the adoption and implementation of the SMP, Marc Denault, President of the STS and the Sustainable Mobility Centre of Sherbrooke (CMDS), echoed a recent statement by CUTA's Chair, who said that "public transportation must be the basis for sustainable urban transportation, but it cannot function in isolation." For Denault, "it is precisely this comprehensive, integrated and partnership-based approach that the STS, the city and all the members of the CMDS have promoted from the start and adhered to religiously for almost three years now."
The CMDS partners are pleased, honoured, and proud that the Sherbrooke experience inspired CUTA's new vision statement, and they "see it primarily as an invitation to strive toward further progress in integrated sustainable mobility, a future direction in which CUTA remains a very important key player," says Denault.
About the Société de transport de Sherbrooke (STS)
The STS is a paramunicipal public transit service that serves a territory of about 366 km2 and a population of over 150,000. To provide regular public transit service and paratransit service for people with mobility impairments, it has a fleet of 85 urban buses, contracts out 12 minibuses along 30 routes, and operates a shared taxi service (5 vehicles) in addition to the city network. The STS provides over 7.8 million trips each year, with nearly 259,000 hours of service overall. The paratransit service (minibus or taxi) provides over 260,000 trips each year. With 224 employees, the STS is the sixth largest public transit service in Quebec. It particularly sets itself apart with its partnership agreements with the territory's major trip generators.
About the Sustainable Mobility Centre of Sherbrooke (CMDS)
Founded in 2010, the CMDS is an organization focused on collaboration and mobilization that groups 30 partners from all sectors (government agencies, city associations and committees, stakeholders in the economy and employment, education, health and transportation sectors). Run jointly by the Ville de Sherbrooke and the STS, the Centre has the following goals: 1) to help develop a true culture of sustainable mobility and transportation in the Sherbrooke community, 2) to ensure that the needs and goals of all partners are reflected in a shared comprehensive vision of mobility, and 3) to work together to ensure all partners make sustainable mobility a priority. A one-stop-shop for information on sustainable mobility, the Centre is a key stakeholder, providing support and advice in this regard. As Sherbrooke's sustainable mobility planner, it was tasked with carrying out the city's Sustainable Mobility Plan adopted in February 2012.
About the Canadian Urban Transit Association (CUTA)
CUTA is the collective and influential voice of public transportation in Canada, dedicated to being at the centre of urban mobility issues with all orders of government, and delivering the highest value to its members and the communities they serve. CUTA is a national association representing public transit systems, suppliers to the industry, government agencies, individuals and related organizations across Canada.