Meeting # 8 with Saskatoon Transit – Costs, Funding, Upgrades, and Communication!

Every month, three members of the Bus Riders of Saskatoon meet with representatives from Saskatoon Transit.  This enables us to ask questions about our transit system, understand ongoing changes, and propose solutions to improve our public transportation. Read the minutes for the meeting here: Meeting #8 – May 13 2015

This month, there were several issues including the cost of a perfectly running Saskatoon transit system, funding strategies for Saskatoon Transit, upgrades to the Confederation bus stop, communication with bus riders and concerned citizens, and the status of bus shelters.

The Bus Riders of Saskatoon wanted to know what what costs were included to calculate a perfectly running transit system.  We were told that included only current operation costs, and it did not include snow clearing or waste receptacles. It did focus on the age of buses and the number of buses to mechanics.  They hope to have the report by June or July.

The federal government promised more funding for transit using a P3 strategy if they were re-elected. Our group was curious as to how Saskatoon Transit receives funding.  They noted that the new bus barn is a P3 endeavour.  They also lease their tires.

For those of you who use the Confederation bus stop between the Superstore and the Confederation Mall, you might have noticed that the shelter was removed again this year.  Upgrades will start May 19th.  They plan to make a larger platform, to replace the shelter, and to add a ramp for access to the Superstore.  (If you’ve made that trip in an icy winter weather, or after a rain, I’m sure you’ll be happy about this change!) They also hope to add seating through the summer.

The City of Saskatoon is forming an Active Transportation Plan.  They will have another consultation on May 23 from 10 am to 4 pm at River Landing.  Click here for more information.

Saskatoon Transit will give names to all of their stops in the coming months.  This will be useful for their ITS system, which will call out names for every stop. It was suggested that the bus stops should have a sticker to note the times that buses can be expected.  This item will be addressed again in a future meeting.

While many of our riders feel that the shelters are too small, Saskatoon Transit noted that this might not change soon.  Right of way is a concern, and utilities restricts the installation of residential shelters.

The next meeting will be next month.  If you would like to attend, our group would like you to attend one of our Bus Riders of Saskatoon meetings in the three months prior to the Saskatoon Transit meeting.  We hope that you can!  Your ideas, experience, and friendly personality are welcome!

Marianne Possberg

Marianne is a lover of good public infrastructure, from rural roads, to city buses, to top-notch education systems. Born and raised in Saskatchewan, she hopes to spread solutions and ideas to make Saskatoon live up to its nickname: "The Paris of the Prairies." Also, she insists that people from or living in Saskatchewan call themselves "Saskatchewanites" rather than "Saskatchewanians". Alternatively, everyone in Alberta, Saskatchewan, and Manitoba could be called "Prairisians".