REGINA – Over 1.2 million travellers passed through the Regina International Airport last year – a 9th straight year of passenger growth.
But they didn’t come-and-go via transit.
Of the six Canadian airports with similar passenger volumes, Regina is the only one without public bus service.
After the Regina Airport Authority’s annual general meeting, CEO Jim Hunter said the 2013 numbers could be even stronger with a transit stop.
“The city has informed us the next time they expand service, we’re number one on the list or at least very high on the list,” Hunter said. “The question is, of course, when does that expansion occur?”
It’s not for lack of demand. Regina Transit says the airport is one of the few areas of the city without bus service – and the most requests for transit are for the airport – though the business case may not be there yet.
“We need additional buses and resources to actually implement a service like that,” said Nathan Luhning, the transit department’s business development manager. “We don’t have extra buses just waiting to get out on the road.”
The transit demand may be there from passengers, but it could well be the employees at the airport who need bus service more.
“(It would be good) if there was a bus going here. It’s cheaper than a cab,” said Cecelie Cevallo, one of over one thousand people who work at the airport. Cevallo often relies on taxi service to get to work. The nearest bus is a long walk.
“We need to provide (employees) with some way of getting them out to the airport other than owning their own car or walking up that road,” said Hunter.
The airport authority says it’s working with the Global Transportation Hub to form a shuttle service for workers, though a solution for travellers may be much further off.
The airport’s AGM also highlights plans for a terminal expansion over the next decade, which could cost over $200 million.