Fewer riders, lower revenue hit bottom line at Saskatchewan Transportation Co.

REGINA – Operating expenses are up, but revenue and passenger numbers are down at the Saskatchewan Transportation Co.

STC says in its annual report that the number of riders fell 2.1 per cent to just over 276,000 passengers last year — about 6,000 less than the year before.

The Crown bus company says ridership has been difficult to recover because of a decreased number of connecting schedules in neighbouring provinces.

It also says a growing affluent population often has access to private vehicles and air transportation.

Expenses were up $1 million to $29.8 million, while revenue fell to $16.4 million.

STC says it has saved about $300,000 by cutting three less-travelled routes from Blaine Lake to North Battleford, Regina to Lanigan and Eastend to Swift Current.

“Route reductions are not decisions that are taken lightly,” STC president and CEO Shawn Grice said in a news release Monday.

“The company also undertook other cost-saving measures including purchasing used coaches and refurbishing existing coaches to enhance the customer experience in the most efficient manner possible.”