How did it come about? Twitter played a role. Regina Transit initially wasn’t going to offer free transit on election day, despite doing so for a previous municipal election.
Six years ago I ran a transit petition in the city, with a specific list of changes needed to immediately improve bus services in Regina. I also helped re-initiate the U-Pass discussion at the University of Regina, which led to implementation of the U-Pass a few years later. Unfortunately there haven’t been many significant improvements since, even though we face a climate crisis, and transit is a key to fighting it here in Regina.
City Council pledged to make Regina renewable by 2050, but they’ve not put our money where their mouths were.
Here’s the straight-forward list, shamefully not complete half a decade later:
X More frequent stop times after 9PM for routes serving major streets.
X Sundays and Holidays use the Saturday routes and schedule.
IN PROGRESS: Express routes on major roads including but not limited to Albert St., Broad St., Victoria Ave. & E.,
NOT DONE: Dewdney Ave., and Rochdale Blvd. Where possible, bus-only lanes will be created, and strictly enforced to reduce Transit delays.
Unclear if this is fixed: Enough Para-Transit resources made available to reduce by half or more, the 2011 monthly average number of stranded users requesting service, by the end of 2013.
X Bus or Shuttle service to the Regina #YQR Airport.
“Oh, can you pass on to them that the Number 8 route is The Best Route in the city. And it’s starting to get busier. People are discovering this transit secret.”
”Also test #YqrTransit on foot. Many residential bus stops & even stops on main roads are without sidewalks, which makes them inaccessible all winter & wet spring. You won’t notice these accessibility limitations until planners try walk to destinations from drop points themselves.”
To wreck what is built, claiming others will provide something else in its place, while the passage of time reveals that others will provide even less, is poor planning at best. More to the point, it’s mean or heartless when the wreckers refuse to rebuild what they’ve torn down.
To: Minister Joe Hargrave
cc: Premier Scott Moe; Buckley Belanger (Critic for First Nations and Metis Relations and Highways); Danielle Chartier (Critic for Seniors, Health and Status of Women); David Forbes (Critic for Diversity, Equality and Human Rights); Doyle Vermette (Critic for Northern Saskatchewan)
I’m writing to express my mounting dismay about the cut to STC, following the recent news of Greyhound shutting down its operations in Western Canada.
In March 2017, after your government announced the decision to shut down STC, you said to the media: “We’re optimistic there will be other services provided by private entrepreneurs or a non-profit organization.” This belief that private companies would replace STC services was major part of your message to the public following the announcement of the STC closure.
The fact is, despite your unfounded early optimism, private companies and non-profits have not filled the role that STC did. Over one year since STC’s closure, private companies are only servicing 28 locations, as compared to STC’s former 253 points of service. And now, with Greyhound pulling all of its Western Canada routes, inter-city transportation is about to become even more limited (and therefore more risky) for the people of Saskatchewan.
The devastating impacts of the abrupt closure of STC have been well documented in the media. Assuming you and your colleagues have been paying attention to these stories and numbers, you will know that many people across the province are experiencing tremendous hardship as a result of this decision. Many people have been forced to assume huge risks to their safety and health by hitchhiking or accepting rides from unsafe people, missing or delaying medical appointments, and/or becoming more deeply isolated.
Shutting down STC was a cruel and short-sighted decision that has had a disproportionate impact on people who are already extremely marginalized: Indigenous women, people living with disabilities and chronic illnesses, people living in rural and remote communities including reserves, people living in poverty, and seniors. To pull people’s only source of inter-city transportation from them without firmly securing a suitable alternative is just plain mean.
Minister, if you and your government honestly thought that private companies would fill the void left behind by STC, now that you know that this is not the case (in fact the opposite is happening), you have a responsibility to repeal the decision and re-vamp STC. To know the consequences of this decision, and to stand by it, is inhumane and heartless.
I urge you to take this letter, and others like it, seriously.
Thanks for reading,
Normanview Mall owners will miss out on business because they think Riders fans won’t shop while parking there.
We’ll have to offer Service Regina our support of bus service to the Airport. The online survey Regina Transit has set up isn’t as useful as it should be, because they don’t list the obvious Airport Route as an option! There’s also the budget suggestion page where you can increase Transit’s budget as they need.
The Mayor is still confused about the need for a Regina Transit bus to go to the Regina Airport.
“We know there are employees that go out there, and certainly does that warrant having a bus system that goes out there continuously? We don’t know that.”
Councillor Hawkins: “I do support Transit going to the Airport, but we have to do it in the right way… [we] don’t want to run empty buses.”
Mayor wants “a business case made”.
It’s the Design Regina Official Community Plan. Follow it!
Otherwise we’re left with people unfamiliar with Regina following my terrifying example:
The SaskParty’s spectacularly bad move to end the inter-city bus service STC keeps getting worse. The international bus line Greyhound has moved their service out of Regina’s downtown, into the airport. This might not have been such a problem, except there is no public transit bus (or even a private one) to the airport! So a bus rider is forced to walk an unsafe long route, bum a ride, or use an expensive cab to use the ‘affordable’ Greyhound inter-city bus.
Waschuk hopes Greyhound will expand its presence at the airport.
Likewise, he’d like to see city bus service to the airport — although that is unlikely in the very near future.
Brad Bells, director of Regina Transit, said city bus service to the airport is “on our horizon,” but unlikely to occur in 2018.
Regina Transit’s next priority is an Arcola Express bus, connecting downtown to southeast neighbourhoods like Greens on Gardiner.
Waschuk said the airport’s tenants and prospective tenants have been wondering about bus service for their employees.
“There’s 1,000 people in the airport campus out here, counting all the buildings and tenants. … That number’s going to continue to grow,” said Waschuk.
He also sees bus service as valuable for Regina residents in general, including university students and seniors.
“I remember my own daughter when she was at university in Saskatoon, she took the bus to the airport all the time for economic reasons,” said Waschuk.
“It’s a good idea to be able to connect to the airport using public transit. Most cities have that.”
It’s a grim situation for people who don’t drive cars when only 1 in 3 Regina MPs cares about the problem, and 1 of 11 on Regina City Council wants to see a bus to the airport.