STC gets $10.3M operating grant, $0 for capital
The Saskatchewan Transportation Company (STC) will receive an operating grant of $10.3 million in 2015, but no capital grant this year, the provincial government announced Tuesday.
“In line with the province’s fiscal restraint measures, STC has taken strong steps to eliminate growth in the operating grant for this year,” Jennifer Campeau, minister responsible for STC, said in a press release.
“In 2015, STC will continue to provide safe and reliable services to Saskatchewan residents, while mitigating the effects of rising costs to ensure these services are delivered efficiently,” Campeau added.
Unlike 2012, 2013 and 2014, STC will not get a capital grant in 2015. “STC has recently taken delivery of five used coaches. These coaches have the standard amenities demanded by passengers including expanded leg room, 110V outlets and Wi-Fi, and allow STC to retire older coaches reaching their end of service,’’ the government press release said.
STC has been taking steps to limit the growth of its annual operating subsidy by reducing the frequency of some routes, reducing discretionary spending, such as marketing and advertising campaigns, and raising fares.
Last month, STC announced a 4.5 per cent fare increase, effective March 2. The Crown corporation also raised fares 5.5 per cent on Aug. 1, 2014, and 4.7 per cent Oct. 15, 2013. Exempt from the March 2 increase are STC medical passes, which will remain at $66.20, and STC’s Frequent Rider Cards, which provide a 20 per cent discount on every adult or student ticket purchased for one year for $30.
STC also asked the Highway Traffic Board for approval to adjust nine routes, effective March 29.
STC’s operating subsidy for 2014 was $10.3 million, and its capital budget was about $3 million. STC received a $10.5-million provincial government operating grant and a $2.79-million capital grant in 2013, compared with $9.2 million and $2.67 million respectively in 2012.
STC also has purchased five used buses from the U.S. as part of its 2014 capital budget. The used coaches provide about 80 per cent of the expected longevity of a new coach at roughly 50 per cent of the cost.