The Fraser Valley Express will begin running on Sundays and holidays this fall. Submitted

BC Transit looks to expand regional bus services across Fraser Valley

Sunday service added in September; expansions considered for years to come

An expansion is coming for the bus linking Chilliwack and Abbotsford with Langley and the Translink system, with an eye on future growth in the coming years.

In addition to adding Sunday and holiday services to the Fraser Valley Express (FVX) this September, the Fraser Valley Regional District (FVRD) and BC Transit are looking at both expanding the service significantly in the coming years. They also hope to study the feasibility of creating a bus link between Mission and Maple Ridge.

Plans for increased regional bus links – which must first be approved by a range of local governments – come as a report for the FVRD shows the FVX has continued to exceed expectations.

Ridership on the service increased by 58 per cent last year, which has boosted revenue and driven down the overall cost of the service by four per cent. About 114,000 passenger trips were recorded last year on the service.

The FVRD reported that “the ongoing success of the Fraser Valley Express has become a benchmark for interregional service development and implementation.”

Last year the service cost $1.6 million to operate. Chilliwack and Abbotsford pay about half that cost, with the province picking up the rest of the tab.

Recently, the FVRD’s corporate services committee gave the go-ahead to look at costs associated with a three-year plan.

That plan would see weekend and holiday FVX service further doubled in 2018/19, increased FVX weekday frequency in 2019/20, year-round service to Cultus Lake in 2019/20, and Sunday and Holiday expansions to Hope service in 2019/20.