STC Bus Service Couldn’t Survive the SaskParty

This news makes me so mad and disappointed. The future of Saskatchewan got a little more bleak today.

“What are the core services that people expect from government – and it is not necessarily a bus company,” Finance Minister Kevin Doherty said Wednesday.

“As for the short window of time before service ends, the province said new buses were on order and they would have to pay for them.

One of the worst parts of this is that the effing CTF finally gets their way. Now there’s no feasible means to exist in a small town without a car. If you’re blind, or can’t drive, you’re screwed. It’s a heartless cut that hurts seniors, environmentalists, people with disabilities who cannot drive, and makes life less likely to thrive in small town Saskatchewan.

ADDED:

“You guys don’t know what you’re doing to small communities. Think about the little people.”

One Nigerian immigrant doesn’t know how she’ll bring her daughter into Saskatoon for medical appointments. An elderly Saskatoon woman said she won’t be able to travel anymore to the Manitou Springs Resort and Mineral Spa near Watrous. Another man lamented the loss of parcel service as he headed to pick up some car parts ordered from Prince Albert.

My life is shutting down

It’s the sort of problem that cannot be solved without government support. If people could form a co-operative and offer replacement service, they would, but they simply wouldn’t make enough money to offer this vital link between communities. It cannot be overstated what a body blow this is to rural Saskatchewan, and that even includes cities like Weyburn, Humboldt, and Yorkton.

Advertisements

5 responses to “STC Bus Service Couldn’t Survive the SaskParty

  1. leaderpost. com/opinion/letters/letter-step-up-to-help-save-stc
    “Martin Wooldridge of Edenwold writes:

    It’s time to make sure the Saskatchewan Party politicians do not hold on to the thought the budget storm will soon pass and the electorate will grudgingly accept the many mean and ill-considered cuts which came with the budget.

    A classic case is represented by the STC. Obviously the current government did not give any consideration to all the many stakeholders who have been compelled to publicly voice how their lives and businesses will be negatively affected.

    In fact it’s very apparent they had no idea who or what would be affected by the closure decision. The understanding that public transportation services are more than the bottom line is missing. The $2-billion-plus extravagant showpiece Regina Bypass, complete with 12 new interchanges and 33 new bridges, is also a piece of public transport infrastructure which will never show a profit nor is expected to.

    What can be seen is the total contrast between the continued flow of public money for highway projects (the current budget has the second-highest-ever expenditure at over one billion dollars for roads) and other needs. The result is the glaring double standard with this government’s priorities, which dumps a truly public service that has been the envy of many people in other provinces. The signal sent is a government driven by ideological confusion and desperation to reverse a deficit they so casually created with extravaganzas such as the bypass.

    Public statements by the minister, Joe Hargrave, stating private entrepreneurs will step forward to fill the gap are so obviously meaningless nonsense. Manitoba’s experience with Greyhound illustrates the fallacy of some “white knights” ready to step forward. When Manitoba refused to continue paying increased subsidy demands from private operator Greyhound, which provided provincial services, the company axed the services.

    This situation contributed to a recent announcement of $6.6 million being provided to fund 43 transit projects across Manitoba, including new vehicles. Ottawa is committed to providing approximately 50 per cent of the total, and this will be available from the $180-billion infrastructure fund provided in the 2016 and 2017 federal budgets. The government of Manitoba has stressed how important it has been to have the federal government as a willing partner in new public transit, and more announcements are to follow.

    The question arises, why has the government of Saskatchewan not had the good sense to see what creative options exist for continued operation of STC services, including accessing the same federal financial source as our neighbours in Manitoba, or co-operative ventures with major stakeholders?

    Keeping STC alive makes commercial and political sense. It will allow the government to show sensitivity to the voices of the many distressed STC users, avoid a fire sale of STC’s significant assets — including the eight newly ordered small size Sprinter buses and four city centre bus terminals — and avoid the significant payouts to redundant STC employees.

    Those wishing to follow the campaign to save the STC can do so at https://www.facebook.com/stopthecutsSK/

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s