The debate over creating a Fraser Valley regional bus will return to Abbotsford council on Dec. 9, after the proposal was defeated in a vote on Oct. 21.
In September, the Fraser Valley Regional District (FVRD) green-lighted a BC Transit bus to connect Chilliwack, Abbotsford and Langley. After unanimous approval from FVRD directors and the Chilliwack’s city council, Abbotsford council shot down the plan.
Some councillors expressed concern about the lack of information surrounding the proposal and Abbotsford’s share of the cost – paying $558, 238 while Chilliwack would pay $333,764 and Langley would pay nothing.
Mayor Bruce Banman said that as three councillors were absent from the Oct. 21 discussion, he would use his executive powers to bring back the plan for another vote, with more presentations by representatives from BC Transit and the FVRD on Dec. 9.
In early November, students at the University of the Fraser Valley (UFV) voted to expand the service of a new campus bus system that connects the Abbotsford and Chilliwack locations.
The Campus Connector shuttle service was launched in the fall, running 15 times a day both ways from Monday to Thursday, and eight times on Friday, between the campuses.
Greg Strickland, vice-president internal of the UFV Student Union Society (SUS) said the need for transit for students in high, and a few months into service, the shuttle already had to turn students away for being too full.
SUS launched a referendum to increase the funding to the program in order to start more shuttle runs between campuses. Students voted in favour of the increase, raising the student contribution from $6.75 to $17.75 annually.
The UFV project is a year-long pilot project, but Stickland said that though the passing of the referendum has made the project longstanding, “SUS has communicated with students that should the cities bring in an adequate service for students, we would drop our connector service… as needed.”