Cupcakes and swag to celebrate on the FVX

Portrait of an an FVX rider who rides the bus to Chilliwack from Abbotsford, and back, on a regular basis for just under a year

Cody Wilkins was getting off the #66 FVX just as a BC transit rep was handing out all the first year anniversary swag. 'Sweet

Cody Wilkins was getting off the #66 FVX just as a BC transit rep was handing out all the first year anniversary swag. 'Sweet

The #66 Fraser Valley Express, or FVX for short, was celebrating its one-year anniversary Friday and Saturday.

BC Transit had “ambassadors” including city officials from Chilliwack and Abbotsford riding the bus Friday to mark the occasion, with festive cupcakes, bike reflectors and scratch-and-win bookmarks being handed out.  On Saturday, everyone rode for free.

Cody Wilkins, is an FVX rider who’s been commuting to Chilliwack from Abbotsford on a regular basis — almost as long as the #66 bus service has existed.

The 25-year-old tattoo artist is one of the 235 people, as a daily average, who takes the bus.

He got off the bus with his bike in front of The Progress last week, around the same time a BC transit rep finished handing out some anniversary swag and goodies.

“I’ve been taking the FVX for almost a year,” Wilkins said.

His routine is to buy a monthly pass for $100. He’ll get on the express regional bus at the McCallum park and ride in Abbotsford, and then he get off at the very last Chilliwack stop at Yale and Spadina.

The FVX is getting busier.

There were 86,500 trips taken from the launch last April to the end of March 2016 — substantially more than the 69,000 projected before the bus got rolling.

“I usually take it in the morning, and it’s fairly decent. But already the bikes get locked up at bus stops. By around 4 p.m. you can’t find a seat,” said Wilkins.

He likes the convenience of bringing his bike aboard. Then he parks it next to the Harleys at work.

Wilkins is pretty happy about the bus route, and he called the first anniversary swag “sweet.”

But he has a request for transit officials.

“It should run on Sundays,” he said.

Running the tattoo shop is his responsibility on Sundays.

“I have no way out here, and I don’t drive.”

Luckily his fiancee just got her N.

“She drives me out here to Chilliwack and picks me up. But in a V-8 it’s a gas hog.

“So it would be great if it ran on Sundays.”