The Highway Transportation Safety Board began public hearings Tuesday morning in Regina for applicants looking to take over former Saskatchewan Transportation Company bus and freight routes.
The first applicants were Hasan Topal from a numbered company, identified as 101266444 Saskatchewan Ltd., and DiCal Transport, based out of Melville, Sask.
Both applicants want to use 15-passenger vans in their potential operation.
Topal was not present at the hearing related to his application, but opponents, such as JoAnn Jaffe, raised questions about how people with disabilities will be accommodated on the vans.
“I think this is much more serious than people realize. One in five people that have disabilities in Saskatchewan use the bus,” Jaffe said, after the hearing.
“This is going to be a severe hindrance and liability issue for them.”
Jaffe also raised concerns about the safety of a 15-passenger van and the privacy of riders using the service for trips to cancer treatments and other health matters.
Vanbango Party Bus out of Kindersley, Sask. have also applied to launch a 15-passenger van transit service.
Southland Transportation Services from Humboldt, Sask. have also made an application to the Highway Transportation Safety Board. Their application is for the use of school buses, vans and conventional buses. Their maximum passenger load is 71.
Carpe Diem, a Regina limousine and party bus service, was one of the first private companies to apply, but their application was withdrawn last Friday.
In total, 10 companies have applications before the board. A hearing for Rider Express Transportation takes place on Thursday morning at the Regina Travelodge. Opposition presenters will be at all the hearings.
Once the hearings are complete, the board has 30 days to make a decision.
Below are application details from the numbered company, DiCal Transport, Vanbango Party Bus, Carpe Diem and Southland Transportation Services as outlined in The Saskatchewan Gazette.