The RTC switches to “COVID-19 service mode”
The Réseau de transport de la Capitale (RTC) is switching from “regular mode of service” to “mode of service COVID-19” to cope with a significant drop in ridership, followed by a drop in revenues to match.
“This is a situation never seen with us,” observes the president of the RTC, Rémy Normand. There have been strikes in the past that have turned municipal business upside down. But nothing compares to the global COVID-19 crisis.
“Last night, the board of directors of the RTC held an extraordinary meeting to make important decisions,” announced the city councilor. “All of this will have impacts and consequences for customers. […] People will have to check properly the new services put in place from Monday. ”
The measures of social distancing imposed by the state, “it has important consequences on our ridership,” notes Mr. Normand. He himself sees the little used buses pass: “Often empty buses.”
“We are close to 80% drop in traffic. ”
– Rémy Normand, President of the Capital Transport Network
Usually, the RTC counts around 150,000 user crossings per day. It is more or less 30,000. “We operate for 20% ridership.”
From Monday, March 30, there will be fewer vehicles on the roads of the capital. For the moment, the decrease is around 30%. But adjustments are to be expected.
Metrobuses will always be frequent. The other routes will be largely modified. Mr. Normand talks about the schedule for an “improved Saturday”.
“These measures are in effect until the situation has resolved.”
Of course, like other organizations, businesses and businesses, the finances of the RTC suffer. “There will be a definite impact.”
Before the SARS-Cov-2 coronavirus changed our lives, the transportation system had revenues of about $ 6.1 million per month. They melted: “There are no customers who buy tickets.”
Since there will be fewer buses on the roads, some 300 drivers will have to stay at home. “The driver workforce is reduced by 30%.” They will be “on call”, may be called to work as needed.
They are not laid off, insists Mr. Normand. They will be paid.
The RTC has 1,605 employees, including 926 drivers. They make an average of 4,223 departures per day, on 134 routes, in 607 buses. They traveled 27,341,824 kilometers in 2018.
For a little over a week, few users have had to enter through the back door; an exception was made for people with reduced mobility. On Wednesday, however, the RTC crossed out this special permission: users who need an access ramp to board a bus must now use the Capital Adapted Transport Service (STAC).
In addition, the STAC has also seen a considerable decrease in ridership: 85%.
BE CAREFUL OF THE NUMBER OF PASSENGERS
In order to maintain a certain distance between public transport users, the RTC will limit their number in each vehicle. Additional buses will be added on routes where these standards are exceeded.