A group advocating for the province to reverse cuts to the Saskatchewan Transportation Company wants to see a value audit conducted.
The provincial government is shutting down STC at the end of the month because the subsidy for customers has risen to $90 a customer.
However, JoAnn Jaffe with Save STC says the full impacts of ending the provincial bus service aren’t known at this time, including the social, economic and environmental impacts shutting down the bus service will have on communities that aren’t near major centres.
Jaffe says they also believe some people could die as a result of the STC cuts. She says without bus routes in northern Saskatchewan, people could be forced to hitchhike, and women, specifically Indigenous women, could be vulnerable to the person picking them up.
She also says it will be harder for people to rely on a transportation service to attend doctors appointments, which could cause further health risks.
Jaffe is also worried the province’s regulations that are imposed on STC buses, particularly around health and safety, might not be carried over to private bus companies.
She says 45% of STC buses are fitted for wheelchairs, and drivers have first aid, CPR and de-escalation training, but she isn’t confident the private companies will have the same measures.
The group wants people to voice their concerns about the end of the service to their MLAs and to call for a citizen’s audit.