In June 2023, the United Counties of Prescott and Russell (UCPR) decided to discontinue the PR-Transpo intermunicipal transit service due to low ridership and labour challenges. However, across the Ottawa River in Québec, the Municipalité régionale de comté (MRC) d’Argenteuil operates a successful adaptive and collective transit system serving all eight of its municipalities.

A public transit service in a mostly rural, regional municipality like Argenteuil is not like a large, urban transit system, according to MRC d’Argenteuil Director of Transportation and Social Development, Billy Morin.

He explained how in Montréal, a bus may travel one kilometre with 100 passengers. In Argenteuil, a bus travelling the same distance may have no passengers.

The MRC d’Argenteuil offers a series of transit services to meet the different needs of residents based on their mobility and the communities where they live. Adaptive transportation in Argenteuil is based on admission for those needing the service. Morin said about 300 people used that service in 2022. Collective transportation is available to all residents.

The Taxi Bus service offers on-demand, rides by reservation for residents. Minibuses or local taxi cabs pick up riders at designated stops. There are almost 200 designated stops, many in remote and rural areas.

In Lachute, a circuit bus route connects the downtown area with the Carrefour d’Argenteuil shopping centre on the southern edge of town each Tuesday and Thursday. This route allows residents to do shopping and attend appointments in each of Lachute’s main commercial areas.

“In the morning, it takes people to work in factories,” Morin said. The route also provides a way for retail and fast-food restaurant employees to get to work and home again.

The MRC d’Argenteuil also provides a bus route between Lachute and St-Jerôme. Morin said students are major users of that route because St-Jerôme is home to a CÉGEP and a campus of the Université du Québec en Outaouais. Other people from Lachute travel to St-Jerôme for appointments or work.

The MRC does not operate its buses directly. They are operated under contract with Autobus Campeau.

Morin admitted there are challenges to organizing a transit system for Argenteuil, where there are so many contrasts in population density and needs by citizens. He said it helps that Lachute, the region’s largest urban and commercial area, is located in the middle of the MRC’s territory.

“We have an advantage because everything is in the centre,” Morin said.

The location of Lachute has made it the hub of public transit in Argenteuil.

“All of the stops are from Lachute or to Lachute,” Morin explained.

However, not all residents of Argenteuil consider Lachute as their first destination for business. Morin said residents of Mille-Isles in the northeast corner of the MRC tend to be more connected with St-Jerôme. Grenville-sur-la-Rouge and Grenville residents often go to Hawkesbury in Ontario for most of their shopping and other services. Morin said having the MRC’s transit vehicles travel across the Long Sault Bridge would pose a bureaucratic challenge due to differences in transit subsidies from the Québec and Ontario governments.

MRC d’Argenteuil transit fares range from $4 to $5 per trip, depending on the zone where residents are beginning their trip. Packets of 11 tickets (10 paid rides plus one free ride) are sold for $40 to $50 each, also depending on the zone.

“It’s a solidarity between municipalities to keep fares low for users,” Morin commented.

Transit use in Argenteuil has rebounded to exceed pre-COVID-19 pandemic levels. In 2019, the system had 33,059 total users. The number slumped to less than half in 2020 with 15,525 total users and increased modestly to 18,054 total users in 2021. In 2022, MRC d’Argenteuil transit had 26,464 total users, and as of June, 2023, there had been 37,522 users in just six months.

“It’s good news,” Morin said.

For complete information on registration for adaptive transportation in Argenteuil, and the schedules and routes for collective transportation, go to