The cancellation of STC left those who relied on the bus service worried about how they would get to places like medical appointments.
After being frustrated with the lack of options, a Yorkton web developer came up with an idea to help those who can’t drive themselves.
“When the government decided to do away with (STC) I thought, well, there needs to be something for people to travel,” said Dick DeRyk, who owns Uncommon Sense Web Solutions. “Especially from the smaller towns, to get people to their medical appointments primarily and then also for shopping and visiting into the larger cities.”
DeRyk, who has been developing websites for more than 20 years, came up with SaskRideShare, a site that allows people to post if they need a ride, or can offer one.
“I was surprised and disappointed that (the government) didn’t make some sort of effort to make an alternative way of doing it, whether it was scaling back the services or lining up a potential buyer so that we don’t have the service interrupted,” he said. “It is what is and I thought well, this was worth a try.”
DeRyk said Saskatchewan is known for neighbours helping neighbours and that the website does just that.
“If we can find a way to get people in touch with each other so that if someone is going somewhere and can take a passenger, or someone is looking for a ride, it shouldn’t be a complicated process,” he said.
The site is free and is user-friendly. It also lists safety tips and precautions for when meeting a person as he said personal safety is paramount.
DeRyk said he knows businesses are also looking at taking over some of the routes, but is worried the people in the smaller towns might be missed.
“I don’t know if they’ll take over all of them because there’s a lot of feeder routes that STC had,” he said. “To feed people into the smaller centres, so they can catch a bus into larger cities.”
Sharing the cost of the ride is also in the ride application, although it’s not mandatory. The user can pick how much they can offer for a ride or how much the driver is requesting.
DeRyk said once the application has been looked over, it’ll get posted to either the rides needed or rides offered section.
The website is operating completely on donations. DeRyk added he hopes people who have used the site can make a donation to the site’s GoFundMe.