“it’s a start because there’s not a lot of options even for people.”– Bethany Koch
A new Prince Albert-based transportation service is hoping it can expand and fill the void left behind when the province shut down the Saskatchewan Transportation Company (STC).
Victor Hoosein is the owner and a driver for Aurora Charter & Bus Service, which just began operating in mid August.
He and Bethany Koch, manager and driver, said the idea sparked when STC shut its doors in May 2017.
Hoosein used STC when he was living in Estevan and Regina to see his family and friends in Prince Albert.
“STC did connect the province,” he said. “There’s a disconnect now. We have to try and connect the province again.”
“Obviously it’s not going to be enough for everyone, but it’s a start because there’s not a lot of options even for people. At least this will give some people an option,” added Koch.
Aurora Charter & Bus Service provides transportation between Prince Albert, Saskatoon and La Ronge with a new 15 passenger van.
Hoosein said they want to support local as much as possible. They purchased the van from Lakeland Ford in the city, while MarkIt Signs put on their decals.
One of their early morning pickup spots is Dr. Java’s Coffee House. Hoosein hopes this will bring more customers to the local shop.
Although their van can hold 15 people, he said they’re currently only taking a maximum of 10 passengers at time. That’s because they want to leave room for luggage and small parcels until they can purchase a trailer.
Hoosein said another goal for the company is to provide transportation to more central and northern Saskatchewan communities.
“We’d like to expand to Big River, Lloyd, North Battleford because there doesn’t seem to be anything out there,” he said.
“Hopefully as we expand, we’ll be able to offer more variety and times,” said Koch.
Since the company began operation, Hoosein said the most passengers they’ve had a time is five people. But the pair is hoping the company will gain more customers so they can continue to offer affordable prices.
Travelling between Prince Albert and Saskatoon costs $35, between Saskatoon and La Ronge is $65 and between La Ronge and Prince Albert is $50.
They currently offer rides five days a week. On Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays, they have transportation from La Ronge to Prince Albert and then Prince Albert to Saskatoon and back. On Tuesdays and Thursdays, they have transportation from Prince Albert to Saskatoon and back, and then from Prince Albert to La Ronge.
Fore more information, visit Aurora Charter Service on Facebook, call (306) 961-6178, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.