Regional transportation: business people prefer to pay a driver retired

News 24 January, 2018
  • Photo Stephanie Gendron
    Hugo Dubé does not hesitate to call a driver to get to Montreal or Quebec city, in order to make enough money to travel.

    Stephanie Gendron

    Wednesday, 24 January 2018 00:00

    Wednesday, 24 January 2018 00:00

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    Business people in the Bas-Saint-Laurent choose to hire a retiree for a ride to Montreal or Quebec, rather than take the plane or the bus, because of high prices or schedules that do not meet their needs.

    • ON THE SAME SUBJECT: airline Tickets Quebec: go to Gaspé is more expensive than to go to Beijing

    Hugo Dubé, CEO of Servlinks Communication in Rivière-du-Loup, hires a retiree to lead when he must go to Montreal.

    “During the drive, I work, I can forward my records, talk loudly on the phone, what I can’t do on the bus. It may seem a little pretentious to have a driver, but otherwise I lose up to nine hours on the road round-trip. The return on investment is there. And when I come back, I’m functional for work “, adds the one who pays out on average of $ 200 round-trip to pay his driver.

    This practice is more widespread. On the one hand, the business people do not want to pay for a plane ticket very expensive. On the other hand, some avoid the risk that the plane hit the streets not because of the weather conditions.

    The Journal revealed yesterday that it was cheaper to go to China as Gaspé from Montreal, a non-sense for business people.

    A thorn to the Business

    Entrepreneurs in more remote areas are often disadvantaged compared to firms located near the cities when the time comes to bid for a project.

    The Group G7 in Sept-Iles, spends more than $ 100,000 in rides per year, mainly to Montreal and Quebec city.

    “To give you an example, the result of a public submission, we shall convene in Montreal for a clarification. We must go to three employees. With the plane, the taxi, meal and hotel, I for 4500 $ ” shows Steve Guillemette, president of the company.

    To get the contract, it must still offer a cheaper price than that of the competing company based near Montreal, and who does not charge this fee.


    It is also a difficulty in recruitment, says the director of the Chamber of commerce of Sept-Îles.

    “Just go meet a potential employee in Montreal, and then bring him here to show him the city, these are large costs of air tickets “, said Paul Lavoie.

    The latter considers that the intervention of the State.

    “At a minimum, the subsidy for people in remote areas should be applied at Seven-Islands. It stops at Sept-Îles currently, while it costs us a fortune, ” adds Mr. Lavoie.

    A portion of their airfare is reimbursed, at nearly 30 %, up to an annual maximum for some remote regions, including Nord-du-Québec, the Îles-de-la-Madeleine and the Basse-Côte-Nord, among others.

    Unable to compete with Air Canada

    The regional carriers do not have the necessary leeway to engage in a price war which would lower the cost of plane tickets.

    Stuck between flights was not always filled, and the operating costs astronomical, the regional carriers just barely manage to keep the price of their tickets.

    “I don’t have the luxury of having lines, hyper-profitable international to be able to modulate my prices on domestic routes. Air Canada has the ability to be able to have pricing strategies that are going to vary significantly over the course of a year, ” explains the executive vice-president of Pascan, Yani Gagnon.


    Other factors, such as the price of fuel which has increased by 30 % since the last year, threaten the stability of the cost of tickets.

    The Association québécoise du transport aérien du Québec will present a memorandum at the top of Lévis, which offers tracks of solution in order to avoid increases in, among other things, the abolition of the QST on tickets.

    The leader of the Coalition avenir Québec, François Legault, said yesterday that if he came to power, he will negotiate with Air Canada for a minimum of frequency in the regions of Quebec and a ceiling on the price of the airline ticket.

    The Gaspé put on the transport by plane

    Photo courtesy

    Airport of Gaspe. Folder regional transportation.


    Even if the price of the airline ticket is extremely high, the Gaspesians are doing everything to promote the air transport to develop. They use originality to convince people to use this transport.

    “The price is astronomically high. When comparing similar markets in Canada, where there is competition, the price is two times cheaper, ” says Daniel Côté, mayor of Gaspé.

    If we reduced the cost of tickets of more than half of the people would use the aircraft, he believes.

    “With a ticket of $ 250 or $ 300 round trip Gaspé-Montreal, I am convinced that citizens would go and visit their family or enjoy health care,” he says. The flight ticket go-return is now close to 1000 $.

    The Gaspesians, through various negotiations with Air Canada and travel agencies, have put together a package of three nights in a hotel, four days of car rental and round-trip flight (2: 30) Montreal-Gaspé for 895 $. A package for the benefit of business people from the Gaspé who need to stays in the metropolis to advance their business.

    Photo courtesy

    Daniel Côté, mayor of Gaspé

    Flights cancelled

    It’s not the price that makes the Gaspesians hesitant to take the plane. The number of cancelled flights because of the reduced visibility due to weather conditions is very high, even too high, according to several users.

    The airport of Gaspé is willing to invest in equipment approach that is more current, but the mayor indicates that the aircraft fleet of Air Canada is not adapted to modern equipment.

    “Air Canada asks us to put old equipment past date for old planes past date “, said Mr. Côté. He adds that these facilities less current are more expensive than those of today.

    “It makes no sense, this case. “

    According to him, investors from outside the region who would like to do business in Gaspé to get discouraged sometimes because of the high price of the plane ticket.

    Work – $ 100 Million for a train

    The train can also be an option of passenger transport in some regions. But VIA Rail no longer makes the journey from Matapedia to Gaspé since 2013 because the railway is in need of repairs.

    The tracks on which circulates the train in the Gaspé peninsula belong to the Quebec government, which recently announced investment of $ 100 million to rehabilitate the railway. The work to be spread over several years.

    “VIA Rail has the intention to restore the service in this area when the lanes will be considered safe for the passenger rail service,” says Mylène Bélanger, head of media relations at VIA Rail.

    Currently, the tourist train the Ocean, which links Montreal to the Maritimes performs during its journey eight stops in the region of Bas-Saint-Laurent.

    In 2017, approximately 5300 passengers have boarded or got off at one or the other of these stops. The majority of people took the train to travel between the Bas-Saint-Laurent and Montreal.

    The service frequency has been reduced from six to three times per week in each direction in 1981.

    Airport network – A summit expected to Lévis

    Quebec will host a Summit on the regional air transport on February 2, in Lévis, in order to find solutions to make the tickets less expensive.

    “It is a priority for our government. There is not a single magic bullet solution that will fix everything. This is a set of solutions that will help improve the air transport “, said the minister for Transport, Véronyque Tremblay.

    The provincial wants solutions that are exportable from one region to the other. “If we organize a summit like this, it is that one is aware that one will have to do our part in the government and we want to make announcements as well at the end of this summit,” said liberal member of Chauveau.

    The event aims to improve the network of airports and access to air services to all regions of Québec, at the best possible cost.