For remote regions, the issue is different from urban centers but just as important!
"Believe me, I know the subject well, I live in Malartic, nearly 600 km from downtown Montreal.” Yannick Richard, Executive VP Vertiko Mobility.
In the regions, densities and dispersion are such that it would be impossible to position vertiports in an intelligent way to connect rural areas to city centers, and to offer a logical and affordable personal mobility service. On the other hand, many people travel from city to city for different reasons (work, business, medical...). Intercity travel could take shape where buses are struggling to make their services profitable, which the various government levels have to subsidize at a very high level.
Below are two comparisons of trips made by bus or air cab:
Case N°1 Rouyn-Noranda to Val-d'Or
By bus: 1 hour 25 minutes, $31 per person (up to 75% subsidy);
By air cab: 17 minutes, $51 per person, without any subsidy;
Case N°2 City of Saguenay - Dolbeau-Mistassini
By bus: 3 hours 35 minutes, $48 per person (up to 75% subsidy);
By air cab: 20 minutes, $60 per person, without any subsidy;
Large employers could also offer transportation to employees who have to travel more than 100 km, every day, evenings and mornings. A gem in terms of social benefits to offer 2 extra hours of family life per day in addition to eliminating the expenses related to a vehicle! It should also be noted that these large companies, in a context of labour scarcity, are also looking for fly-in fly-out solutions for the displacement of employees from various regions or localities. Fly-in fly-out is a very expensive way to travel by conventional aircraft.
But beyond a local network or corporate services, the regions of Quebec are very poorly served by air transportation services to major urban centers or between different regions. Let's just mention the example of Val-d'Or where transportation to Montreal (a 45 minute flight) requires the same plane ticket price as a trip from Montreal to Paris (a 7 hour flight), that is to say between $600 and $800 (round trip) and the cab to downtown is not even included.
Moreover, there is no flexibility since there is only one flight in the morning and one in the evening. This means that business people who must travel from Val d'Or to Montreal to attend meetings, leave in the morning between 7am and 8am, arrive in downtown Montreal around 10:30am to 11:00am and must leave downtown around 2:30pm to not miss the return flight. It's hard to be efficient with your time! That's why most people take their car. They have more time and, even with a night in a hotel and meals in a restaurant, the cost of the trip is lower. The same applies to people who have a medical appointment, for example. We always know what time it is supposed to start, but it is hard to predict what time it will end. Those traveling south could also be offered more destinations and therefore more availability if they were lucky enough to leave from a major center, but costs make this option unavailable and driving is hazardous in winter.
With the air cab service, the trip from Val-d'Or to Montreal could be done for as little as $200 per person (round trip) and the client would be directly in downtown Montreal in less than 1 hour and 40 minutes. Tempting isn't it?
Let's remember that this is a taxi service ... air taxi for sure, but it's a taxi! The customer chooses his departure and return time according to his needs and not according to a predefined and rigid flight schedule.
With the pandemic of the last 24 months, Quebecers had no other choice, or very little choice, than to choose the province of Quebec as a vacation destination. Imagine the options available with a network of vertiports and air cabs that can take you to the four corners of the province ... even for a weekend!