Start our own Bus Service?

Stop The Cuts held a press conference yesterday to highlight the SaskParty Government turned down federal money for STC.

In response, the incompetent and callous SaskParty Government said, “[I]f Stop the Cuts is interested in starting its own passenger service, we would encourage them to make the appropriate application to the Highway Traffic Board.”

We had our own service, it was called STC.

There’s a good economic reason why a co-operative or private bus company isn’t going to operate a successful bus service in Saskatchewan. The geography is too vast, and it requires the resources of a government to operate, much how free healthcare cannot be provided by private healthcare offices. To have a higher standard of living, we cannot depend solely on the private sector to deliver services that lose private owners money when they offer equitable service to rural Saskatchewan.

Regina has its own bus service called Regina Transit. However, it’s limited by a bylaw [provincial law instead perhaps?] preventing it from operating beyond 25km of the city limits. It would also need to obtain STC coach buses to operate a successful and profitable service to Saskatoon and Moose Jaw.

From Regina Transit’s Route and Scheduling Analyst:

Regina Transit is a municipal system for use by the residents of Regina. Under the Highway traffic bylaw we are not allowed to travel outside the city limits more than 25 KM. Our buses also aren’t geared for highway travel but rather geared for lower city speeds.

Leading The Way in Saskatchewan on Renewable Energy

May 26, 2017

Dear Editor,

In response to your May 24th article “Regina councillors return from Vancouver”, about Regina Councillors seeking to make our city use more renewable energy, I’d like to point out that Regina presently produces no solar electricity on public buildings. This is frankly outrageous since Regina’s solar resource is the best in Canada among major cities. The Federal, Provincial, & Municipal governments, and even the University of Regina all produce 0 Megawatt hours (MWh) of solar electricity for the SaskPower grid in Saskatchewan. That’s 4.6 MWh less than I’ve personally produced with my solar panels, for SaskPower. If the City would spend only $20,000, they could surpass my contribution within a year.

Saskpower is on track to miss their “50% renewable electricity by 2030” target mentioned in the article. 71 MW more fossil fuel electricity is planned to go online than renewable electricity in the next 4 years in Saskatchewan. That leaves a significant shortfall to hit 50%, with no plan as of yet being delivered to explain how the Crown Corporation intends to make it up.

I’m eager to see if City Council is willing to put its money where its mouth is, and stop making me look so good by comparison.

John Klein
Regina, SK

Regina Budget Re-do

Check out Jim’s presentation, he asks important questions and City Council dodged every single one of them.

And if you haven’t had enough input from the ecological perspective, check out my presentation with a long list of ideas to save money, and reduce pollution. I even include a new revenue stream for the City to start up.

Tomorrow night City Council votes on raising your taxes, and if they don’t listen to people, they’ll end our Lawn Bowling history, put fees up at the Airport, make it more difficult for people to depend upon the bus, and pave more of Wascana Park for cars.

Save STC – SaskParty Ending Rural Transportation System

In a shocking turn of events, it’s been left to the NDP to defend the interests of people in rural Saskatchewan. This is something that would not have been predicted ten years ago, when the NDP name was mud outside of Regina and Saskatoon for having closed hospitals and schools in many small communities. Now, the SaskParty government is selling off STC’s assets to private companies, destroying a critical transportation infrastructure that has been in place for 70 years.

About 200 people gathered over lunch hour in Regina at the new STC Bus terminal, to tell the government to stop the closure. Guest speakers include City Councillor Andrew Stevens. Andrew was on the Morning Edition to explain the ridiculous cuts to the Cities.

Botched Investigation Into Murder

Later that day, however…

Vehicle Allowance

Do you wonder why Regina isn’t a Transit City? It’s because of automobile subsidies like the former City Manager getting $600-$1000 a MONTH for a personal vehicle.

A $1000/year would easily cover a Regina Transit pass, and the City Manager could fill in the gaps when headed to work sites with car sharing (which happens to be conveniently parked in City Hall Parkade).

Even an exorbitant $600/month vehicle allowance can buy my well-equipped bicycle once per month. I’d have to struggle to spend $600 a month on a car, unless I went with a Tesla Model S which could easily be $900/month if leased.

Do people from Regina wonder why our city transportation system is in decline? People in charge of it don’t decide to settle here after years of sort-of maintaining it. And the people who want to live here are not being listened to by those who could fix the problems.

Another Offensively Bad #Transit Idea from City of Regina

This idea from the City really is the worst. No one taking the bus from points to or from Vic, Albert or Broad would be in favour of this. We already have Express buses on those streets that address the perception of some riders that there are too many stops.

Here’s a workable theory:

TMLfan in exile writes:
The only reason for this is because they got complaints from people getting tickets for parking in the BUS LANES when the signs are large (at least double normal) and clearly marked indicating no stopping between 8:30am and 5:30pm.

Buses are so infrequent, on their very long routes, that it’s often faster to walk to your destination than wait for a bus. If you start walking, and see your bus coming down the street, the City’s bad idea will make it much less likely that you’ll be able to run to a remaining bus stop in time to get picked up. This proposal is entirely about increasing free street parking (which makes pedestrians and cyclists less safe), and nothing to do with improving the quality of transit service.

Regina Transit drivers have explained to me since the R-Card fare boxes were installed, stop times have increased as people struggle to feed coins into the fare box. Free transit removes this expense from the buses, and would increase efficiency of the service.

“The city is also looking into removing a transit stop within the Wal-Mart and Sobey’s parking lot near Rochdale Boulevard in the north end because of traffic congestion.”

Seriously? The whoever said that at the City, is trying to make Regina into a laughing stock. Why would you attempt to degrade mass transit service in an effort to improve traffic congestion? It’s not buses that are congesting Regina’s traffic.

ADDED: Look at what Saskatoon is proposing to improve transit service instead, for growth?

“For the first time we’re seeing public transit at the centre of the discussion for long term planning.”

ADDED: There are studies that show longer walks will decrease the number of people taking a bus. I do not know if there’s any study showing that removing stops will usefully decrease delays for people on buses and prevent them from leaving transit use for alternatives.

UPDATE: Regina Transit responds.