Saint-lazare ready to roll with Adobus
Saint-Lazare teens itching to do some skiing at Mont-Rigaud will have a new ride in town beginning later this month.
But parents and teens alike are invited tomorrow evening to attend the official launch of the Town’s so-called Adobus, a mode of transportation exclusively catering to Saint-Lazare youths between 12 and 17 years old.
Saint-Lazare communications agent Valérie St-Amant said though the bus will make its first official run to Mont-Rigaud, one of six planned runs this winter, on Jan. 18, tomorrow’s launch will give teenagers and parents a chance to see what the service is all about.
“This is the first teenage transportation service we’ve ever had,” St-Amant noted, adding, “We want to make it a party and invite everyone to come see what it’s all about.”
The party will include hot chocolate for everyone, as well as a chance to win two full day skiing passes at Mont-Rigaud (a $70 value.) Parents will also be given forms they can sign so their teens will be able to use the bus.
St-Amant said all potential riders must abide by a code of conduct or risk being expelled from using the service, which is free for all Saint-Lazare teens in the right age range.
There is room on the bus, a school bus with service provided by Campeau Autobus, for up to 48 youths. There will be a driver on the bus, but St-Amant says there will not be a monitor to watch the teens.
Adobus’ service to Mont-Rigaud will run a total of six Friday nights every two weeks beginning Jan. 18. The additional dates are: Feb. 1, Feb. 15, March 1, March 15. Each time the bus will depart from the SaintLazare Community Centre, 1301, rue du Bois, at 6:30 p.m. sharp, and will leave from Mont-Rigaud at 9:15 p.m. in order to arrive at the community centre by 9:30 p.m. St-Amant says the service may be postponed or cancelled if weather and road conditions are deemed unsafe.
The Town says all seats on the bus will be filled on a first come first served basis. No head counts will be done before departing MontRigaud. Teens who miss the bus will be responsible for arranging their own ride home.
According to St-Amant, many SaintLazare parents have called in to express interest in the service.
“People seem very happy that we’re going to do this... They want to know when it will start,” she commented.
There will be plenty of storage room under the bus for ski and snowboard equipment.
The idea for Adobus was born last April when more than 20 Saint-Lazare teens between 12 and 18 years of age attended the Town’s first Youth Forum. The forum’s goal was to get local youths involved in making decisions on policies that would affect them, as well as to bridge a gap between elected officials and citizens. The Town also wanted to highlight its status as one of two Quebec towns with the youngest populations.
In early 2011, Statistics Canada results showed 31 percent of Saint-Lazare’s population - or a little less than 20,000 people - were under the age of 20. The town tied with Blainville for the youthful distinction.
Teens attending the forum were asked to democratically decide how best to spend $10,000 that was given to the process. After a day of workshops, discussions and debates, it was decided that $6,000 of the money would be channelled into holding four additional teen dances a year. The remaining $4,000 was given over to the creation of a teen transportation service, Adobus. At the time, youth forum organizers felt the choices reflected the teens’ desire to socialize and be able to attend other events in the region.
“Adobus will run year round,” StAmant said, adding, “We probably won’t use it in summer since the kids will be on vacation, but we’ll use it again in fall once an itinerary has been decided.”
She said the bus will only travel to local destinations such as Mont-Rigaud for skiing, or to Vaudreuil-Dorion for the swimming pool.
The Adobus launch for teens and parents will get underway tomorrow night at 6 p.m. in the Saint-Lazare Community Centre parking lot. Youths are invited to wear ski goggles and snowsuits in order to be eligible to win the pair of passes to Mont-Rigaud Ski Hill. Parents will also be able to get one-time forms that must be filled out before their kids can be eligible to ride the bus. Hot chocolate will be served and the bus will also be on site.
For information, call the Saint-Lazare Recreation Department at 450 424-8000, extension 220.