After over 70 years of service, the final Saskatchewan Transportation Company bus made it’s way into the downtown Regina depot just after 9:00 p.m. Wednesday night.
As part of their plan to return to a balanced budget in three years, the Saskatchewan government has been making many tough decisions, the Wall government announced the wind down of the 71-year-old provincially run bus company after finding it was losing more money than it was making.
Lyle Bennett, a STC Bus Agent in Chamberlain for over 40 years says he knows he must move on now and remains optimistic about private companies taking over.
“We’ve been serving Chamberlain with the service station and the bus service for the last 40 years and there is no reason to stop now,” he said.
Don Blackwell was one of 23 people who took in one of the final two rides, and he says the nostalgia was strong for those who took STC one last time.
“It was sad, a lot of the seniors who got on were pretty sad,” he said.
Waiting for Don and the others in Regina were a few dozen protesters, angry with the current government over the handling of the organization, and subsequent service cuts as part of its most recent budget, saying the service was too pricey to continue to run effectively.
Blackwell said the most memorable moment of his most recent trip was a small cake party in Chamberlain, as staff and passengers sat around to remissness about the history of the service.
In the meantime, Saskatoon Police say six people were arrested as a result of a protest that took place at the Saskatchewan Transportation Company depot in Saskatoon.
Police were called to the depot just after 9:30 PM Wednesday after a number of people refused to get off the bus.
Negotiations carried on between Police and the protesters until 1:15 AM Thursday morning at which point the group was arrested and escorted off the bus.
A 32-year old woman , two men aged 37 and a third man aged 23, all from Saskatoon, along with a 54-year old woman and a 33-year old man from Regina were all transported to SPS Detention Centre where they were warned for Mischief and released.
There were no injuries as a result of the incident.
With files from Drew Postey