Ontario bus company planning Saskatchewan expansion after Greyhound departure

Ont. bus company planning Saskatchewan expansion after Greyhound departure
WATCH ABOVE: Kasper Transportation plans to connect Saskatchewan’s three largest cities once Greyhound leaves the province.

A bus company headquartered in Northern Ontario has plans to connect Saskatoon, Regina and Prince Albert after Greyhound stops service Saskatchewan.

Thunder Bay’s Kasper Transportation currently operates in Ontario and Manitoba, but is looking to expand west.

READ MORE: Ontario bus service to pick up in Manitoba where Greyhound leaves off

“Going to Saskatchewan was always a plan of ours and we always wanted to do it, so here is our opportunity to do it,” said CEO Kasper Wabinski.

“Nothing in life is final, but I’m as serious as one can be.”

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The expansion would consist of a single bus line running from Prince Albert, through Saskatoon and Regina, linking the communities with Winnipeg.

A fare from Prince Albert to Winnipeg might cost about $150, while the trip between the provincial capitals would likely cost $80 to $90.

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“With the population in question, I wouldn’t be surprised if it justifies seven days [of service] a week,” Wabinski said.

To avoid the fates of the Saskatchewan Transportation Company and Greyhound, Wabinski said his company would have lower payroll, administrative and equipment costs.

READ MORE: STC closure added $22 million to provincial coffers: CIC report

“A full-size motor coach might cost $400 an hour to operate. My vehicles cost $200,” he said, noting his vehicles have fewer seats than STC and Greyhound buses.

Saskatchewan Premier Scott Moe and Joe Hargrave, minister responsible for the shuttered STC, remain confident the private sector will fill demand for bus services, according to a provincial government spokesperson.

“We are encouraged that a number of companies have already stepped forward and expressed a willingness to meet this demand in new and innovative ways,” the spokesperson said in a statement.

After Oct. 31, Greyhound’s only Western Canadian route will run from Vancouver to Seattle.