Extending the Fraser Valley Express to the Skytrain jumped another hurdle as Abbotsford council gave the thumbs up to the plan earlier this month.
The regional bus currently runs from Chilliwack, through Abbotsford, to the Carvolth bus exchange in Langley. But BC Transit has suggested extending the route to the Lougheed Skytrain station by the start of 2021.
Doing so, they say, would make it dramatically easier to get into Vancouver. The move would make the journey simpler and cheaper for travellers and commuters. It would also solve the problem of the Carvolth exchange not having a place or way to buy tickets on site.
“In discussion with riders, the highest single request was … a direct connection to Skytrain,” Mike Kelly, the city’s senior transportation planner, told council.
Extending the service will cost a little less than $500,000 each year. Abbotsford and Chilliwack split the cost of the Fraser Valley Express on a per-resident basis. The addition would cost the average homeowner between 45 and 80 cents of taxes every year.
The bus has been enough of a success that current funding for the service is actually more than it needs. That will allow a portion of the costs to be paid for out of the Fraser Valley Express’s existing surplus. Additional costs going forward will depend on ridership.
Last year, the FVX provided 19,300 rides per month, and the service has previously been expanded to provide more weekend and holiday buses.
Chilliwack council has already signaled their support of the plan.