Public consultation report – 2021-2025 Universal accessibility plan
The Société de transport de l'Outaouais launched an online consultation from June 15 to July 5, 2020 inviting respondents to let us know about any obstacles or challenges encountered while using the regular bus or paratransit service.
239 people filled out the questionnaire.
The following are some of the highlights of the report.
Customers of the service
- Those living with a physical disability cannot fully interact with their environment and are more vulnerable in situations of uncertainty (safety at stops, transfers, change in schedule or stops, etc.). The regular and paratransit services should take this variable into consideration.
- Improved awareness would improve assistance for customers. Most of the conditions users face require a certain amount of flexibility and adaptation in the assistance provided by our drivers because not all limitations are immediately evident.
- The length of paratransit trips appears to be a major impediment to the use of the service.
- The paratransit reservation systems should be modernized and standardized to improve access to the service.
- The reliability of the paratransit reservation systems should be improved in order to reduce the occurrence of stressful situations for customers.
- Paratransit reservations should be more flexible to better meet the needs of users, namely by making it possible to reserve a specific type of vehicle.
- Arrival and departure schedules should be guaranteed to enable them to honour their obligations.
- Regular taxi companies do not guarantee service or optimal assistance to customers.
- Most respondents with functional limitations also use the regular STO bus service, so the user experience should take into account all of the limitations (i.e. purchase of bus tickets, layout and maintenance of stops, transmission of information during trips, etc.).
- Some customers report that they feel safer using the regular bus than the paratransit service.
- The service would be much improved if wheelchair accessible buses were on time.
The next steps
The next steps will involve discussions with the different local stakeholders and associations. The information received will be used to prepare a list of current and potential obstacles in order to identify the required interventions for both the regular and paratransit services. The universal accessibility plan will then have to be submitted to the ministère des Transports du Québec (MTQ) for approval. It is expected to be released in the winter of 2020-2021.
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Read the full report (in French).