SMILE Services provides transport capabilities for those in the Estevan community who needs it, and they've gotten a bit more help from a recent grant.

The Transit Assistance for People with Disabilities program is run by the provincial government, giving funds to services like SMILE that help out with transport.

This year, SMILE received $92,499 from the Saskatchewan government, with that number determined by ridership numbers and costs throughout the year.

SMILE Services manager Arthur Beselt says that it's a better number as ridership has stayed decent over the past few years.

"Ridership since 2019 has probably back up to 80-90 per cent. Back in 2019, we were around 20,000 trips taken, we found that we had 17-18,000 trips for 2021. with the adult day program back up and running, ridership should be up a bit again this year."

While the amount they got was a bit more than expected, Beselt says he is a bit disappointed that the province didn't consider replacing the vans that have seen a lot of use through the city.

"It was more than what I expected, but I'll take whatever they give us. We did apply for a bus replacement, but for whatever reason, the ministry didn't get our application and we weren't funded for a new bus, which is a little bit disappointing, but we'll apply again next year."

"We've got four buses with close to a million kilometers combined, and basically all of that is city driving so they get shook up pretty good."

Still, Beselt says that he's looking forward to the year ahead, and is confident that any problems that come up with the busses will be fixed, ensuring a smooth ride.

"I would just service the buses we have regularly, and any mechanical faults are attended to immediately ... hopefully we'll come out not too bad at the end of this year."