July 18, 2017 1:16 pm

STC reports millions of dollars of losses in annual report

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The Saskatchewan Transportation Company (STC) has reported millions of dollars in losses during 2016-17 as the company released its annual report following the shutdown of the service at the end of May.

STC reported a loss of $34.2 million before government subsidies on $14.9 million in revenues and $49.1 million in operating expenses.

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READ MORE: Saskatchewan Transportation Company comes to end of road

The losses were less after factoring in an operating grant of $12.4 million and a capital grant of $1.2 million from the government.

Those subsidies were ended in the 2017-18 provincial budget due to declining ridership and increased operating costs as the government looked for ways to cut costs to deal with a billion-dollar deficit.

Joe Hargrave, the minister responsible for STC, said ceasing operations was a difficult decision to make, but one that made financial sense for the government as it would save over $85 million during the next five years.

“The difficult decision to wind up the organization was in response to declining ridership, the growing requirement for subsidies, and the belief that the dollars could be better directed to other government priorities,” Hargrave said in a release.

“The staff at STC did a remarkable job as demonstrated by the high customer satisfaction ratings the company received.”

READ MORE: Sask. government to sell new, unused buses after STC shuts down

Passenger satisfaction was 95 per cent, up two percentage points from the previous year.

“We are proud of our safety record and our high customer satisfaction ratings over the past 70 years,” STC president and CEO Shawn Grice said.

“STC would like to thank all of the passengers and parcel express customers for their patronage.”

READ MORE: The final journey from Moose Jaw to Regina on an STC bus

During the year, STC buses carried just over 185,000 passengers, travelled 4.5 million kilometres and served 253 communities in the province.

Some front-line staff in Regina and Saskatoon are being kept on until the end of September so STC can fulfil its contract with Greyhound and others have been retained for winding up operations.

© 2017 Global News, a division of Corus Entertainment Inc.

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