North Battleford Transit is in dire need of a bus.
In part, they need one to service a Handi-Bus run that could potentially bring in revenue. More to the point, they are running short of buses, period.
Transit Manager Paul Robertson was at City Hall Monday to plead his organization’s case.
“I’m desperate for another bus,” Robertson city councilors. How soon did he need it? “The day before yesterday,” he said.
Transit currently runs two transit buses as well as three Handi-Buses five days a week. But one transit bus is down for repairs in Saskatoon. Their one spare bus, a Handi-Bus convertible to transit use, is now in use on the transit route.
“My buses are getting to the stage where I need one replaced,” said Robertson. That leaves no buses at all for breakdowns, he told council.
The proposal put forward by Robertson was to add a new Handi-Bus at an estimated cost of about $110,000. Robertson said he has secured $55,000 from the TAPD (Transit Assistance for People with Disabilities) Capital grant. Robertson is proposing the city pay $38,500 and that the Town of Battleford contribute $16,500 for the remaining amount. An application to Battleford is already in and is to come up at their council meeting next month.
Robertson also outlined an opportunity available for them if they did have a spare bus. They could potentially do a run to Saskatchewan Hospital that could serve 22-24 Handi-Bus clients daily.
That would run Monday-Friday and could mean an additional 375-500 clients and an additional $40,000 to $50,000 a year, Robertson said.
There was no decision at council Monday on a new bus purchase. The issue will come up again at council next month.