Despite kinks, city happy with amount of transit users

June 12, 2017 - 6:22pm
The city says over 8,000 people used the city's transit system for the Riders first preseason game on June 10, 2017.
File Photo/980 CJME
The city says over 8,000 people used the city's transit system for the Riders first preseason game on June 10, 2017.

There are still issues to address ahead of the official opening of new Mosaic Stadium.

Transit remained a big problem at the preseason game Saturday — some fans waited up to an hour to catch a bus.

The City of Regina's Kim Onrait said wait times are to be expected when taking transit.

"This isn't something where you're going to stand in line, jump on the bus and have all that happen in 10 minutes,” Onrait said. “It is going to be a period of time as we load buses and get people there safely.

The city reported over 8,000 people used transit. Fans at the game noticed a problem with a lack of transit post-game.

"The problem with the transit I found was the ride back. You have 8,000 and more people arriving at different times. But when the game is done, it's the same number of people all wanting to leave at the same time. People cutting to the front of the line. They need more busing," one listener wrote on our 306-306 text line.

Onrait said the city did increase transit at the end of the game, with 36 buses pregame and 48 available afterwards.

Other fans said once on the bus to head home, it took longer as the bus had to travel through residential areas.

The Saskatchewan Roughriders nor Evraz Place commented to confirm a debrief meeting will be had prior to the July 1 season opener, to discuss changes that need to be done.

As for the city they believe they are overcoming the challenges.

“As we continue to see the travel patterns and habits of people going to these events, we will adjust accordingly,” Onrait said.

He added people had to take into account Confederation Park was not available for pregame festivities before the test events and that will alleviate the amount of people that will take transit just before the game.

Onrait added that 70 people took their bikes to the game and used the bike valet provided at the stadium.

Some fans are more forgiving than others as the facility is still in its infancy.

"I'm sure there are gonna be hiccups along the way, but for the most part it was great," one listener told John Gormley.

Fans weren't the only ones testing out new Mosaic Stadium.

The game was also a test for Roughriders' players.

"It was awesome, just to see that stadium with so many fans in there just for a preseason game, it was definitely fun," receiver Naaman Roosevelt said. "It was what I expected, it was amazing to walk in the locker room knowing that it's game day, see the fans, run through the tunnel, it was fun."

—With files from Sarah Mills and Britton Gray

Twitter @CJMENews