Riding in style: massive upgrade to Pontiac bus route

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by: 

Kate Aley

It's smooth and it's quiet with internet access, a 36" flat screen TV and reclining seats and it leaves Allumette Island at 10 minutes to 5 am every day. This is the new coach that runs Route 148 and you can be on it. This week, riders taking the Campeau Bus Line to the city were treated to a brand-new luxury coach, a demonstration vehicle in service before the permanent vehicle becomes available in about a weeks time.

Smaller but more comfortable, the new coach is a nimble 48 feet long, compared to the previous one at 66'.

The new vehicle, known as a Crystal Coach Bus, carries 30 passengers compared to the previous 60-person capacity. Plush seating features safety belts, fold-down arm rests and a reclining feature. The permanent coach will also offer a washroom in the back. Air suspension, improved heating and wireless internet will make the long drive more comfortable and efficient.

Nice warm safe and comfortable seats!

Subtle green strip lighting overhead allows passengers to board safely while not disturbing those already aboard.

Security strip lighting in the ceiling

Four small TV screens augment a swing-down 36" screen in the front of the bus. A deal with Videotron means a new release movie is shown every evening on the return trip. Each seats features a USB port and an overhead reading light.

Fold-down TVs along the length of the coach

The bus stops at multiple points along the 148, depositing passengers at three points in Gatineau and four in Ottawa. The timetable is available at transcollines.ca. Tickets can be purchased on board from the driver Garry Belair (cash only at this time; change available) and do not need to be booked in advance. Belair says he waits at every pre-arranged stop for about two minutes, as a courtesy to passengers running late.

Simple and effective, a Transcollines paper ticket

Tickets can be purchased as one-way or return, with weekly and monthly passes available. Belair refers to meeting his twenty regular riders every evening as a "family reunion". "We are quiet on the way to town but on the way back, we're joking around," he said. "They can order pizzas that I have delivered to the bus and keep warm in [insulated] bags for them."

Belair lives in Quyon, leaving home each day at 3 am to get to his first stop by 5 am. He describes driving the bus as "a joy". "The people are happy," he said. "It's not a driver/customer relationship, it feels like family."

Driver Garry Belair.

Belair credits Campeau Bus Lines and Transcollines for recognizing how important reliable, affordable transport is to the Pontiac. "They see the worth in looking after their customers," he said. "There is a real need for this service in this region."

The 'moonlight dome' gives an unprecedented view of the road and the sky. A passenger seat next to the driver is a welcome addition for people suffering from motion sickness.

Further updates and improvements are planned for the 148 service. Stay tuned.

Nos autres nouvelles / Our other News

Smoke signals: fire signs come down across MoP

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by: 

Kate Aley

So.

I was driving from Shawville to Quyon recently and noticed that the fire danger sign at the intersection of Clarendon St. and Hwy. 148 is gone. Not just taken down for repairs. It's gone, gone, gone for good.

Nouveau panneau du Club Lions a fait son apparition

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Image: Kate Aley

Je me pose la question à savoir pourquoi le panneau du Club Lions sur la route 148 est-il en anglais seulement et pourquoi a-t-il été autorisé à être installé seulement en anglais?  À ce que je sache les panneaux sur nos routes provinciales doivent être en français ou bilingue??

The Highway 148 Effect

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We have a smooth, fast highway for a country road. Now, at the end of June, when most roads are still pockmarked after the long winter and the rainy spring, we are a ribbon of road that invites stupidity. Some people blame the road, but it is not the road that is dangerous, it's the drivers. They are in an excessive hurry, they pass on double lines and on blind corners, they are on their phones, they've had a few drinks, they are high, they are possibly not even licensed drivers. 

Dès 2018, des aînés ayant besoin de transports pour recevoir des soins médicaux seront laissés à eux-mêmes partout au Québec

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Pour la municipalité de Pontiac, cela signifie:

  • 60 utilisateurs touchés

  • 1500 transport par année

Ce sera à l'ordre du jour au prochain conseil municipal.


Cantley, jeudi le 29 juin 2017 – La Table autonome des aînés des Collines est sous le choc face à la décision du Ministère des Transports, de la Mobilité Durable et de l’Électrification des Transports du Québec de ne plus financer les transports effectués par des bénévoles partout au Québec et ce, dès 2018.

In 2018, seniors who need transportation for medical appointments will be left to fend for themselves everywhere in the province of Quebec

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For the Municipality of Pontiac this means:

  • 60 users affected

  • 1500 travels per year

It will be on the next municipal council agenda.


Cantley, Thursday June 29th, 2017 – The Des Collines Seniors’ Roundtable is shocked at the decision of the Ministère des Transports, de la Mobilité Durable et de l’Électrification des Transports du Québec to stop financing transportation provided by volunteers everywhere in the province of Quebec from 2018.

Quyon Maison de la Famille: standing strong and shining brightly

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by: 

Kate Aley

That's about the size of it! Executive Director Catherine Beaudet stretches her arms wide in happiness and gratitude as she describes the past year of events and achievements at the Quyon Maison de la Famille's annual general meeting on June 20.

From left: ED Catherine Beaudet with board members Maude-Emmanuelle Lambert and Sara-Lynn McCann.

The Maison de la Famille de Quyon (MdlFQ) continues to be a remarkable and vital mainstay in this community. In her AGM notes, Beaudet compared the Centre to a lighthouse which stands and shines over the community of Pontiac.

PMP picnic was pure pleasure

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by: 

Kate Aley

Kids and their adults came in droves to the third annual Parents of the Municipality of Pontiac (PMP) picnic event, held at the Community Centre in Luskville on June 17. There was art, there was craft, there were bubbles to blow, a mini-bouncy castle to pounce on and three -- count them, THREE -- fire engines to climb on. AND snacks! What more could the under-5 set ask for?

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