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Saskatoon Transit working fast to get more buses on the road

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Saskatoon Transit working fast to get more buses on the road
WATCH: Dozens of Saskatoon Transit trips have been cancelled due to mechanical issues, but supply shortages are creating real challenges in getting the necessary parts. – Mar 3, 2022

The City of Saskatoon has been experiencing bus delays because of the weather. However, they’re also struggling to get the parts they need to fix the buses.

On Wednesday, Jim Mcdonald, director of Saskatoon Transit, says they’ve found a way to continue to run the majority of the buses.

“Some of the solutions to get buses on the road include using third-party garages to assist with our maintenance, using parts from buses with long-term defects, dealing with our check engine light calls differently,“ said Jim Mcdonald.

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As well, they’re going to use buses with unavailable parts to fix other buses, and the city is working with nearby transit properties to see if they can use parts from them.

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The issue was presented at the city council on Monday where they discussed why this is happening and what they need to do.

Coun. Bev Dubois said residents need to be able to rely on transit.

“We have folks that take the bus to go to work, take their kids to daycare and I can’t imagine waking up at 5:30 and seeing that list. It’s 40 below with a windchill of 50 and they can’t get to daycare. We’re not serving the city of Saskatoon through our public transit,” said Dubois.

Saskatoon’s director of transit says the issue has been beyond their control.

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“On Monday we had 18 buses that were down because we had no parts available in our inventory to fix them,” said Mcdonald.

Transit Service alerts are sent out to inform users of delays and cancellations, but sometimes they come too late.

Dubois says these problems could have been avoided.

“We knew there was a backlog of parts, we knew there was a backlog of buses that needed to be maintained in the spring and in the summer of last year…. So my take is, if we knew that, why didn’t we deal with it,” said Dubois.

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Transit says maintenance staff have been brought in to work overtime, and they are hoping March will bring a break in weather so buses can get back on the road.

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