Ask family or friends for a ride, says STC minister in light of hitchhiking concerns
STC annual report shows 2.4% ridership drop, $12M subsidy in year leading to closure
The Saskatchewan Transportation Company's annual report, released Tuesday, provides a more detailed picture of what state the Crown corporation was in before it was shuttered.
In 2016-17, ridership dropped to 185,670 from 190,190 the previous year: a 2.4 per cent decline.
Passenger revenue was down $2.5 million, which the minister responsible for STC, Joe Hargrave, called "pretty substantial."
The decline in ridership led to increasing subsidies. According to the 12-month annual report, the operating subsidy was $12.4 million as of March 31. The report offered 15-month fiscal numbers as a comparison for 2015-16, which saw a subsidy of $13.25 million.
Response to hitchhikers
In light of STC's closure on May 31, only a few companies have taken over passenger routes so far, leaving many of its previously-covered cities and towns without bus service.
The closure has prompted criticism from a few corners, including concerns that it will lead to more — potentially dangerous — hitchhiking.
"You always worry about people hitchhiking, but people have always hitchhiked," said Hargrave.
"In the heydays of STC there were still a number of hitchhikers. So, we don't want to see anyone hitchhiking and we encourage them [to] not."
Hargrave advised people to check with family and friends for transportation options.
Finishing off the job
The STC's contract as a partner of Greyhound Canada continues, with about 100 front-line staff working until the end of September.
Hargrave said the government hopes to begin selling off Crown assets within the next few weeks.
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