August 30, 2014 7:54 pm

Service disruptions hit Saskatoon Transit

Saskatoon Transit will not have enough buses available to run full service after the Labour Day long weekend, according to city officials.

File / Global News

SASKATOON – Saskatoon Transit will not have enough buses available to run full service after the Labour Day long weekend, according to city officials.

The City of Saskatoon said on Friday it will not run full transit service starting on Tuesday, Sept. 2.

A backlog of maintenance on its fleet is preventing Saskatoon Transit from running all services. Saskatoon Transit director Bob Howe says a shortage of mechanics has led to the backlog.

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“We have sent out as many buses for repair to the private sector as we can. We have also been attempting to hire qualified mechanics to maintain our fleet,” said Howe.

Howe said attracting new hires is difficult as the city can’t advertise a wage increase until there’s a collective agreement. It’s currently being disputed between the city and the union representing workers.

“In a highly competitive market it is difficult to recruit when still advertising 2012 wage rates”, said Howe.

The disruption will primarily affect high school specials, direct services and extra buses to accommodate high volumes of transit users.

Suspended or delays services on Tuesday, Sept. 2:

  • All High School Specials will be suspended
  • All Downtown Direct and University Direct services will be suspended
  • Extra buses during peak travel times for popular transit routes will be suspended  (e.g. Route 80 – Kenderdine/City Centre)
  • The implementation of new routes will be delayed:
    • Route 26 (Clarence/University)
    • Express Routes for Parkridge, Willowgrove and Kenderdine Express

New temporary services provided on Tuesday, Sept. 2:

  • Shuttle buses from Centre Mall to Holy Cross and Walter Murray Collegiate.
  • Shuttle buses from Confederation Terminal to Bethlehem & Tommy Douglas Collegiate.

“We encourage transit users to consider adjusting their trip times, if possible, to avoid peak morning and afternoon trip times,” said Howe.

All regular routes and Dart routes will still be operating.

Also running on Tuesday, Sept. 2:

  • College Park to St. Joseph High School Special
  • Caswell School Special

To find out if a route is affected or to plan an alternate route visit the city’s website or call 306-975-3100 for a customer service representative.

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