On the road again La Ronge to PA

The bus leaves Kikinahk at 9 a.m. weekdays and the Coop Gas Bar in Air Ronge at 9:30 a.m. Photo Courtesy of the Kikinahk Friendship Centre.

Bus service operator looking at expanding service to Saskatoon

The “free bus” hit the road again May 26 and will journey on weekdays between La Ronge and Prince Albert until March 31, 2024, Ron Woytowich, Kikinahk’s executive director, said in an interview with the Northern Advocate.

The bus, and initiative of the Kikinahk Friendship Centre, leaves Kikinahk at 9 every morning, Monday through Friday.

To ride the bus people must call Kikinahk at least the day before their intended trip to book a seat.

The bus has been full lately and there has been a waiting list, Woytowich said.

The bus, a 14-passenger, has little room for luggage, which is a challenge. If someone brings extra luggage, there is not enough room for 14 passengers. Children must be accompanied by a parent when riding the bus.

Woytowich is working on solutions for the problem.

“Actually, we’re finding that people are bringing too much luggage on and we don’t have luggage room on the bus … and that takes away from the number of seats. It’s just not fair so I have to put something together,” he said, adding he’s still figuring that piece out.

In a separate proposal, Woytowich looked at extending the service to Saskatoon and using a larger bus. He has not heard about any decision on his proposal as yet, Woytowich said.

A group from the University of Saskatchewan will be coming to La Ronge to study the bus service, exploring the need for the service in the community and where it might be used in other communities since the closure of the Saskatchewan Transportation Company (STC) service was closed by the SaskParty government May 31, 2019.

In the meantime, the bus leaves Kikinahk at 9 a.m. and heads to the Coop gas bar in Air Ronge, where passengers may also be picked up. The bus leaves Air Ronge at 9:30 a.m.

People may call Kikinahk at 306-425-2051 to book at seat on the bus.