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» Film-Tech Forum   » Community   » Film-Yak   » Shutting down the buses (Page 1)

 
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Author Topic: Shutting down the buses
Frank Cox
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1944
From: Melville Saskatchewan Canada
Registered: Apr 2011


 - posted 03-23-2017 02:08 AM      Profile for Frank Cox   Author's Homepage   Email Frank Cox   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
In 1946 the provincial government decided that Saskatchewan was not being well served by the bus companies and established a government-owned bus line called Saskatchewan Transportation Company. STC provided passenger and freight service to almost all of the towns and villages in Saskatchewan ever since, and they interface with Greyhound in the major cities to transfer interprovincial freight and passengers between them.

STC loses a fair amount of money on its operations each year, which is not surprising since it was intended to serve communities that the major bus lines were not interested in serving. And now after 70 years the provincial government has just announced that they are shutting it down as they believe that the money can be better spent elsewhere.

This will put 224 people directly out of work, and leave most locations in Saskatchewan without any bus service at all, including Melville. Most of my movies currently arrive by bus and the bus depot is about a mile from my theatre so I usually just walk over there to pick it up. Now I'll either have to get stuff shipped by courier (for bigger dollars) or drive to Yorkton, which is served by Greyhound but is about 26 miles away.

It's inconvenient for me but it's going to leave a lot of people stranded -- old people in small towns who want to get to the city for an appointment and whatnot are going to be flat out of luck. And anyone who wants to get to a small town by bus is also out of luck; I guess taxis will be about your only option.

Some of the rinky-dink little roadside stores only exist because they're the local bus depot, too.

Who'da thought they'd actually cancel the provincial bus service? Sheesh. I don't think there are a lot of places that can't be reached by bus service of some kind in North America, but now Saskatchewan is one of them. Or will be; they're shutting it all down at the end of May.

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James Biggins
Film Handler

Posts: 20
From: Leicester U.K.
Registered: Oct 2014


 - posted 03-23-2017 05:14 AM      Profile for James Biggins   Email James Biggins   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Welcome to the 21st. Century Frank. Profit is the bottom line. Everything else is just a statistic.

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Buck Wilson
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 855
From: St. Joseph MO, USA
Registered: Sep 2010


 - posted 03-23-2017 06:19 AM      Profile for Buck Wilson   Email Buck Wilson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Well that sucks. [Frown]

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Dave Bird
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 737
From: Perth, Ontario, Canada
Registered: Jun 2000


 - posted 03-23-2017 10:20 AM      Profile for Dave Bird   Author's Homepage   Email Dave Bird   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
We've used FedEx since digital came out. Way more convenient than when we used to have to use the bus (or drive to get films), they drop them right in our courier slot, cheaper too...

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Leo Enticknap
Film God

Posts: 6900
From: Loma Linda, CA
Registered: Jul 2000


 - posted 03-25-2017 01:57 PM      Profile for Leo Enticknap   Author's Homepage   Email Leo Enticknap   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Supporting the economies of remote settlements was the main reason why government-run postal services were started in the first place. Commercial transportation, both for passengers and freight, works great if the person or object is going from and to densely populated locations, but is not viable if it isn't. So by having a government-run service that operates on a "one price to everywhere" basis, the price paid to mail a letter, say, from LA to San Francisco, will subsidize the cost of another one mailed from Davis Creek to Death Valley Junction.

If you wanted FedEx or UPS to take something from Davis Creek to Death Valley Junction, they would probably either flat out decline your business, charge you more than you could afford, take longer than you could work with, or both of the last two.

As Frank points out, in most cases these services more than recoup what they cost through the way they support consumers and businesses in these communities. Even the residents of Frank's town who never used that bus probably went to see a movie at his theater at least once or twice, which will have to pay more to ship DCPs once the bus service ends and may have to pass that cost on to its customers. It's always sad to see these services go, and IMHO very short-sighted to cut them.

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Frank Cox
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1944
From: Melville Saskatchewan Canada
Registered: Apr 2011


 - posted 03-25-2017 03:02 PM      Profile for Frank Cox   Author's Homepage   Email Frank Cox   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Interestingly enough, public transit within the cities gets a pretty substantial subsidy ($30 million Canadian dollars from the federal, provincial and municipal governments for a new bus barn in Regina in 2016, for example) but nobody is talking about shutting down the city buses there.

The only reason these things operate at a deficit is because they have revenue. Many public services have no revenue (fire departments, public health inspectors, etc) so people don't judge them on that basis.

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Bobby Henderson
"Ask me about Trajan."

Posts: 10677
From: Lawton, OK, USA
Registered: Apr 2001


 - posted 03-25-2017 04:05 PM      Profile for Bobby Henderson   Email Bobby Henderson   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Loss of that bus service is a symptom of a much bigger problem. Rural towns across the United States, and I presume Canada as well, are threatened with deaths of a 1000 cuts. Times are tough for small towns here in Oklahoma. They're struggling badly to provide basic services one expects from any municipality (police, fire dept, schools, water, sewage, garbage removal, streets, etc.). A bunch of my father's family lived in Temple, OK. For the past few years that town has been without a police dept.; forcing the Cotton County Sheriff's Dept. to pick up the slack. When towns like these lose their ability to have K-12 schools it puts them on the track to die off. Some small towns are going broke just trying to keep streets paved.

Most young people now leave small towns and rural areas and head to the cities for a better range of job opportunities and social connections. That leaves the local small town economy in a constrictive population pyramid -more older people and fewer people of working age and younger. Even older people are having an increasingly difficult time staying in small towns due to the lack of health care services and distance away from larger hospitals. The ones who can afford to do so (and can manage to sell their property) will leave.

Large cities and Megapolis zones like metro Dallas Fort Worth are drawing in lots of people from these small towns.

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Dave Bird
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 737
From: Perth, Ontario, Canada
Registered: Jun 2000


 - posted 03-26-2017 10:53 AM      Profile for Dave Bird   Author's Homepage   Email Dave Bird   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Where do your drives ship from Frank?

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Mike Blakesley
Film God

Posts: 12394
From: Forsyth, Montana
Registered: Jun 99


 - posted 03-26-2017 12:09 PM      Profile for Mike Blakesley   Author's Homepage   Email Mike Blakesley   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Bobby Henderson
Most young people now leave small towns and rural areas and head to the cities for a better range of job opportunities and social connections.
I think another factor is, parents "encourage" them to leave by saying things like "there's nothing for you here." That happens around here all the time, even though we have a lot of small businesses here which make good incomes for their owners. Nobody wants to encourage their kids to stay and take over the family business anymore, so that leads to outsiders coming in and taking them over. Sometimes that works out, but not always, especially if the new owner wants to make drastic changes to the tried-and-true business model.

We've had better luck here with the farms and ranches; quite a few of them have been (or are being) taken over by the next generation, although even a few of them have "sold out" to giant corporations which own thousands of acres over a huge area.

Being one of the "next gen" people myself, I wouldn't trade living in a small town for anything. I'm only a 75-minute drive from the biggest city in the state, but about 98% of my needs are met right here. I have a three minute commute to work, and I can walk down the street any time of the day or night and feel perfectly safe.

We don't have any kids, but I have a large family with lots of nieces, nephews and etc. Zero of them have expressed any interest in taking over either of my businesses when I get ready to retire, partly due their parents insisting that they "have to get out of here."

We do still have local bus service, though. [Smile]

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Frank Cox
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1944
From: Melville Saskatchewan Canada
Registered: Apr 2011


 - posted 03-26-2017 12:54 PM      Profile for Frank Cox   Author's Homepage   Email Frank Cox   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
quote: Dave Bird
Where do your drives ship from Frank?
Winnipeg.

I've never lived in a large city and have no desire to do so. Frankly, big cities scare me and seem like a giant hassle to deal with. Melville is big enough that there's something here, but not so big that we have the big city problems.

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Frank Cox
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1944
From: Melville Saskatchewan Canada
Registered: Apr 2011


 - posted 05-16-2017 05:43 PM      Profile for Frank Cox   Author's Homepage   Email Frank Cox   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Since the last day that STC will handle freight is this Friday, I have been shuffling around getting a shipping scheme into place for next week.

There is an outfit called Tiger Courier that will automatically transfer freight from Greyhound in Regina and haul it to Melville twice each week on Tuesdays and Thursdays. So as long as my movie is in Regina by sometime on Wednesday I can have it here by 1pm on Thursday.

So nothing really needs to change: the film warehouse can send stuff addressed to me as usual and the Regina transfer will happen automatically. I can charge the entire freight bill to my (new) Greyhound account and they will pay Tiger Courier. Pretty much the same as STC, where I paid my STC account and they paid Greyhound.

I don't know how much of an increase this will make in the cost of the freight, but at least the movies should get here on time.

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Brad Miller
Administrator

Posts: 17662
From: Plano, TX (36.2 miles NW of Rockwall)
Registered: May 99


 - posted 05-16-2017 07:13 PM      Profile for Brad Miller   Author's Homepage   Email Brad Miller       Edit/Delete Post 
And then you get a defective drive...

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Dave Bird
Jedi Master Film Handler

Posts: 737
From: Perth, Ontario, Canada
Registered: Jun 2000


 - posted 05-17-2017 09:00 AM      Profile for Dave Bird   Author's Homepage   Email Dave Bird   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
Is that a branch of CCDI (Deluxe) Frank? Remembering the sometimes wild goose chase with tracking down which town Greyhound was delivering to that still got me the print with enough time to build it OR worse, figuring out where the print got to when they forgot to drop it, I shudder at the thought. We are just an "automatic" ship from the depot via FedEx. The drives hit our courier slot on-site Thursday mornings and it's cheaper than the bus ever was...

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Frank Cox
Phenomenal Film Handler

Posts: 1944
From: Melville Saskatchewan Canada
Registered: Apr 2011


 - posted 05-17-2017 01:35 PM      Profile for Frank Cox   Author's Homepage   Email Frank Cox   Send New Private Message       Edit/Delete Post 
It is indeed the CCDI depot.

The chap who runs that place just sent me an email this morning and asked if it would be better if he just put the freight on Tiger Courier in Winnipeg directly instead of on Greyhound. I hadn't realized that Tiger went to Winnipeg, but apparently they do.

I have now left a message with the Tiger folks to ask about this. Perhaps I should be setting up an account with Tiger.

To this point my stuff has been shipped via Greyhound from Winnipeg to Regina, and then via STC to Melville. The Greyhound people occasionally forget to take the freight off in Regina. The movie or the trailer drive rarely go missing, but the poster tube sometimes rides all the way to Vancouver before someone notices it there. I guess it must roll right to the back of the compartment in the bus and "disappear" when they are unloading.

This only happened once with the movie and they sent me another one from Winnipeg so I still had the show in time, and the one that went to Vancouver showed up here on Sunday. If the poster tube takes a few extra days it doesn't matter, though.

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System Notices
Forum Watchdog / Soup Nazi

Posts: 215

Registered: Apr 2004


 - posted 07-09-2018 05:58 PM      Profile for System Notices         Edit/Delete Post 

It has been 418 days since the last post.


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