Société de transport de Laval chooses a woman to head its operations

Josée Roy becomes regional transit agency’s general manager

Following a lengthy and careful selection process, Société de transport de Laval president Jocelyne Frédéric-Gauthier last week announced the appointment of a new general manager at the regional transit agency.

Josée Roy, whose appointment as the STL’s new general manager was announced last week by STL president Jocelyne Frédéric-Gauthier, will be starting her new position next January 30.

The winning candidate for the position, Josée Roy, currently is executive director for operations at the STL. Her term as general manager will start on January 30 in the new year and her contract runs for five years.

GM Picard retiring

She will be succeeding Guy Picard, the STL’s general manager since 2012, who announced his retirement earlier this year after a nearly 40-year-long career in the public transit sector.

“The selection committee is confident that it chose the best candidate from among all internal and external candidates it met with over the past few months,” Frédéric-Gauthier said in a statement, adding that a specialized firm supported and guided the selection committee in finding the right fit for the position.

Knows the industry

“We are all the more proud to appoint the first female general manager in the STL’s history,” she added. “Ms. Roy not only sets herself apart through her wealth of experience in the public transit industry, her extensive knowledge of the transit agency and her proven management skills, but also through her recognized leadership and her strong motivational skills.”

“I would like to thank the members of the selection committee, the board of directors and Ms. Frédéric-Gauthier for placing their trust in me,” said Roy. “I especially want to commend Guy Picard on his vision, for the trust he showed me, and for instilling his love for the STL in me, which I now have etched in my heart.

Challenges she faces

“I am honoured and proud of the headway I have made. I will start this new mandate focused on helping to revitalize public transit and to make the STL and the City of Laval an example for the industry to follow.”

Among the challenges Roy faces, the STL is starting a critical transition to electrification that will have to take into account not only a balanced financing plan, but also an overall reconsideration of how the agency conducts its business.

As well, Roy is taking the reins at the STL as the transit agency is recovering from an extended period of labour tensions with its bus drivers, while also dealing with a drastic drop in ridership and resulting reduction in revenue which came about during the three-year-long Covid pandemic.

Bus in Laval Qc.
Josée Roy is taking the reins at the STL as the transit agency is attempting to recover from the drastic drop in ridership and resulting reduction in revenue which came about during the three-year-long Covid pandemic.

“Above all else, I wish to continue showcasing all the heart and talent of this wonderful team of STL employees, who get up every day to provide the highest quality service possible to Laval residents,” said the STL’s new general manager.

32 years in public transit

Josée Roy has a Bachelor of Landscape Architecture degree from Université de Montréal, and has been working in the public transit industry for 32 years. One of her first jobs was with the Quebec Ministry of Transport in 1990.

She also explored the service industry before she began a 19-year stint at the former Agence métropolitaine de transport (AMT) in 1998, during which time she climbed the corporate ladder to become director of infrastructure, a position she held for eight years.

At STL since 2017

Roy has been working at the STL since 2017. She held the position of senior manager of infrastructures for a year-and-a-half, before being appointed to her current position as executive director of operations.

In her new position, Josée Roy will be overseeing a team of more than 1,100 dedicated employees. Besides its highly visible bus network, the STL also develops and operates an integrated public transit system that includes school service buses, shared taxis and paratransit vehicles.

The STL’s regular bus service operates 47 routes, with close to 2,700 stops across more than 1,500 kilometres in the Laval area.