Carpe Diem Limo Service puts brakes on plan to take over STC routes

A local limousine company has put off its application with the Highway Traffic Board to amend its operating authority certificate to offer a bus service between Regina, Saskatoon and Swift Current after a number of oppositions were filed by parties wanting to save the STC.

Company CEO says he'll consider re-applying when emotions aren't so high

The Saskatchewan Transportation Company's last day for service was May 31, 2017. (CBC) (Mike Zartler/CBC)

The CEO of a Saskatchewan limousine company has put a bid to take over former Saskatchewan Transportation Company bus routes on hold, citing backlash from groups that want to save the bus company.

Derrick Engen, owner of Carpe Diem Limousine Service, had previously stated the plan to start offering passenger and freight service, and had filed an application with the Highway Traffic Board. 

Engen explained his company already has an operating authority certificate, but only on a charter basis. He had applied to have it for a scheduled bus service.

However, by Friday afternoon Engen explained that application has been withdrawn.

That decision came after seeing that lawyers representing the Amalgamated Transit Union and other supporters of the now-defunct bus company had registered in opposition to his application.

"The wounds are too fresh," Engen said.

The STC closed on Wednesday, leaving some rural residents worried about a lack of access to transportation and putting 224 employees out of work. 

Because oppositions were filed against Engen's application, a hearing was scheduled for next week, but that has since been postponed. Hearings are still set for three other businesses looking to provide passenger and baggage service.

CEO says drivers threatened 

Engen said he will consider re-applying when emotions aren't as high. 

"I think in a month or two, or maybe it takes six months, those people will realize that there's no service."

He said he's surprised by the backlash to his plan, and added that some drivers have even been threatened. 

"That's not the type of Saskatchewan people that I believe inhabit the province."

He hopes to provide a regular bus service between Swift Current, Saskatoon and Regina, as well as offer charter services to and from smaller communities.