(Photo credit: Kikinahk Friendship Centre Facebook page)

The bus service from La Ronge to Prince Albert will be discontinued at the end of the month. 

The Kikinahk Friendship Centre in La Ronge has been offering the service, which runs Monday to Friday, to and from Prince Albert since 2022. The service is completely free, making it an accessible resource for people traveling to visit family or attend appointments. 

“It’s going to affect a lot of people who have been going to Prince Albert for medicals more than anything,” said the executive director of Kikinahk, Ron Woytowich. 

Earlier this year, the University of Saskatchewan researched the bus service to show the importance of transit services in northern communities. Now, only a few months later, the service is ending due to a lack of funding. 

Ron Woytowich explained that Kikinahk missed out on around $3 million in funding for this year after the deal to purchase the Waterbase Inn fell through. 

“That is going to be missed; it is something that is really needed, and there are some days we have 15 passengers with 14 seats and a driver; some days we’ve had a waiting list as large as the load on the bus,” said Woytowich. 

Kikinahk owns the buses, and Woytowich stated that if more funding for the service becomes available, they will bring it back. 

Both the Kikinahk Bus Service and the Scattered Sites Outreach program will come to an end on June 28.