STC, the provincial Crown corporation that runs an inter-city bus service in Saskatchewan, is hiking fares by almost five per cent.

The Saskatchewan Transportation Company said passengers will pay, on average, 4.76 per cent more for a bus ride ride.

The company said it is facing increased costs and needs to increase rates to make up for that.

The new fares will kick in April 1.

According to STC, the average fare increase per ticket is $1.45 based on an average one way trip of 187 kilometres.

"The increase reflects the need for STC to recoup some of its increased costs and at the same time deliver on the company's mandate to serve Saskatchewan," Shawn Grice, STC's CEO, said Thursday in a news release. "We believe that people who try our service once are very likely to become repeat riders due to the enjoyment of their travel experience."

STC said it will maintain discounts for seniors, students, children, frequent travellers and others.

The last STC passenger rate increase occurred March 1, 2010.

With files from CBC's Stefani Langenegger