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Regional bus gains approval after returning to Abbotsford council

Abbotsford council approved a previously rejected plan for a bus between Chilliwack and Langley via Abbotsford.  - File photo
Abbotsford council approved a previously rejected plan for a bus between Chilliwack and Langley via Abbotsford.
— image credit: File photo

After previously defeating a plan for a inter-city bus, Abbotsford council has approved plans for a transit connection between Chilliwack, Abbotsford and Langley.

The plan received approval from the Fraser Valley Regional District (FVRD) in September and the City of Chilliwack in October, but was initially rejected by Abbotsford council.

As the decision was made with only six councillors at the table, Mayor Bruce Banman used his executive privilege to bring the issue back for another vote.

Banman told council that approving the bus was "fundamentally the right thing to do as a service to the region."

He said that cities need to start planning now for a "population explosion" in the area, and transportation is an important part of that.

The bus run is expected to begin in 2015 and will connect people from Chilliwack to Langley's Carvolth Transit Exchange, connecting Valley residents to TransLink services.

Coun. Henry Braun and Coun. Moe Gill voted against the proposal, citing concerns about expense.

BC Transit will pay about 50 per cent of the cost for the service, with Abbotsford paying 63.8 per cent of the remainder – about $588,236 – and Chilliwack paying 36.2 per cent – about $333,764. Langley will not be paying into the service.

Representatives from BC Transit, FVRD and the University of the Fraser Valley presented information about the project.

Braun said he still felt many questions have been left unanswered about the service, but Coun. Patricia Ross said that Abbotsford's approval is needed before more details could be worked out.

District officials will continue work to determine final fare structures, schedule development and potential routes.

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