Regina-based limo company Carpe Diem is seizing the day and has applied to take over all Saskatchewan Transportation Company (STC) routes.
The Highway Transportation Board (HTB) confirmed it has received an application.
It was announced in the provincial budget that the money-losing STC is winding down. With $85 million needed over the next five years to sustain the provincial bus company, the government made the “difficult decision” to bring it to an end.
Which is where Carpe Diem is seizing the day.
Despite many unused and unprofitable routes, company owner Derrick Engen believes he and his four partners can make it work.
“We don’t plan on making any cuts at this time, in fact we are hoping to open a few that were cut years ago, we will have to assess day by day and month by month,” Engen explained. “We are hoping with smaller vehicles and maybe some fewer trips per day that we can still provide some level of service to just about every community that STC used to take care of.”
Carpe Diem hopes to make the transition as smooth as possible for passengers and be running the former STC routes by May with freight services starting by the end of the month.
Engen confirms talks with the cancer agency and have already begun. STC parcel service was often used to get chemo medication out to patients in small communities.
Engen and his partners will be starting talks with businesses that act as STC bus stops to see what arrangement can be reached.
As well, he hopes to have discussions with the regional libraries who used STC to distribute books around the province. It has been announced that service will end as a result of the bus company ending.
“We believe we can make this viable,” Engen maintained.
The HTB may approve an application but companies are not given the authority to move ahead with their business until proof of adequate insurance is obtained and that there are no notices of opposition.
Interested parties have 21 days to file a notice of opposition.
If there is, a public hearing is arranged and the HTB listens to all parties and will make a decision on the application after that.
All of this process can take up to three months to approve.