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 The recent vote by transit workers for job action won’t affect the current transit system, says Regina bus driver, Mike Miller. “The job action is enough to make a stand without affecting the public.” Miller says.

 

Although it won’t change the amount of buses running, improvement of the system is still something that is on the minds of many Regina residents.

University student, Bailey Priegnitz, says that she depends on the bus to get to school.  “The only time it’s convenient is in the morning because the University bus runs every 15 minutes.  Every other time, it only runs every half an hour and it takes me an hour to get to school.” Priegnitz says.

Although there has been about a 9% rider increase in the past year, the attempts made to improve the system have not been made a priority.  “A lot of the stuff that comes up [during committee meetings] just keeps getting ignored, because it’s not affordable…but they can build a $278 million stadium for a select crowd.” Miller says.    

Regina City Councilor Shawn Fraser participated in 10 Days of transit to better understand the system. He has since spoken up about the need for improving the transit system. “It was a really eye opening experience for me. Definitely I think we have a transit system that has some good things about it but it’s also been stagnated over the past couple decades.” Fraser says.

With a growing city, the focus is turning to the question of how to get more people to ride the bus.  Fraser’s concern is with the cost recovery factor which is about 38 percent. Every $100 that the city puts into transit, $38 comes back to ticket revenue.  For a city the size of Regina, the cost recovery factor should be between 40 and 50 percent. To improve that number, Fraser says that the service needs to be improved to get more people to ride the bus, which will ultimately lower the cost.

Miller says that the only way to make it feasible is by putting in innovative ideas to make people ride the bus.  Having WIFI compatible buses is something that is in the works for the future.  

Fraser envisions a transit service that engages more people. “It’s going to take some more resources to make the service better. I think the city has to take the first step.” Fraser says.