Chilliwack transit expansion put on hold by funding freeze

Expansion plans now on hold for Chilliwack include extending weekday bus service to Yarrow and Greendale, Cultus Lake, and more

A freeze on BC Transit funding by the province has put further expansion of the Chilliwack Transit system on hold.

A freeze on BC Transit funding by the province has put further expansion of the Chilliwack Transit system on hold.

“We received word from the province that transit funding over the next two years will not be increased,” said Chilliwack Mayor Sharon Gaetz at the April 22 council meeting.

They plan to ask the province to reconsider.

“The current levels of transit funding are safe, but any expansion is not going to happen,” said Gaetz. “We are deeply disappointed at the City of Chilliwack and frustrated that we will have to wait to continue improving our transit system.”

Expansion plans now on hold for Chilliwack include: extending weekday bus service to Yarrow and Greendale, service to Cultus Lake in 2016, custom expansion for 2017, and Evans route improvements.

“We do remain ever hopeful,” said Gaetz.

Ridership on Chilliwack Transit increased substantially in recent years with improvements that included rerouting, expanded service hours, and 20 minute service on the Yale/Vedder corridor.

“We were on a bit of a roll in terms of ridership growth,” she said. “That has really made a difference in terms of us softening our footprint. We know there is a strong appetite for transit in Chilliwack.”

Chilliwack Transit saw overall ridership numbers grow to 545,811 trips in 2013/14, up from 517,050 in 2012/13, according to figures from BC Transit. The spike in ridership on route #1  was pegged at 15%, and was seen as the driving force behind the system-wide increase.

Coun. Jason Lum, who sits on the Lower Mainland Local Government Association, said he’ll be talking about the freeze at the regional level.

Lum took to Twitter to signal his opposition: “You know what supports a greener community? Public Transit! Time to reconsider freezing the BCTransit budget!”

He noted the inclusion of $750 million for a new public transit fund in the federal budget.

“Maybe the Province can reconsider BC Transit budget freeze now?” Lum tweeted.

jfeinberg@theprogress.com

twitter.com/chwkjourno

Just Posted

Chilliwack Visual Artists Association members upscale found items into art

CVAA group show ‘Upscale Art’ is at the Chilliwack Cultural Centre Nov. 20 to Dec. 28

B.C. man who murdered Belgian tourist near Boston Bar gets life in prison, no parole until 2042

Sean McKenzie pleaded guilty to second-degree murder of 28-year-old Amelie Christelle Sakkalis

Locally owned shops open doors for Chilliwack Christmas Craft Crawl

The 17th annual self-guided event takes place Nov. 21 to 24 at six locations throughout Chilliwack

LETTER: Rainbow crosswalk campaign shows ‘contempt’

‘A very sad chapter in the history of Chilliwack,’ says letter writer

Seven Days in Chilliwack

A list of community events happening in Chilliwack from Nov. 18 to 24

Three people deported after Surrey brawl caught on camera: RCMP

Police say they have been ‘actively engaged’ in the issue of youth fights in Newton since March

B.C. to advocate for frustrated, confused, unhappy cellphone users, says premier

Maple Ridge New Democrat Bob D’Eith to advocate for more affordable and transparent cellphone options

Workers union calls strike vote in SkyTrain labour dispute

Mediated talks are scheduled to begin Nov. 28

‘Very disrespectful’: B.C. first responder irked by motorists recording collisions on cellphones

Central Cariboo Search and Rescue deputy chief challenges motorists to break the habit

Daily cannabis linked to reduction in opioid use: B.C. researchers

Researchers looked at a group of 1,152 people in Vancouver who reported substance use and chronic pain

Bids down, costs up on Highway 1, B.C. independent contractors say

Rally protests NDP government’s union-only public construction

Members of little people community applaud change to drop ‘midget’ term

‘It’s not about sensitivity,’ says Allan Redford, the president of the Little People of Canada

‘Police incident’ leads Squamish RCMP to ask public to leave Stawamus Chief

People were told to expected a ‘noted police presence’

Most Read