Still hopeful FV Express bus will roll next September

Abbotsford council turned down the long-awaited Fraser Valley Express bus proposal, and some in Chilliwack expressed disappointment

Disappointment is lingering like a thick fog in Chilliwack after Abbotsford council turned down the long-awaited Fraser Valley Express bus proposal.

The new BC Transit bus route proposal requires agreement in principle from partnering municipalities including Chilliwack and Abbotsford to create the transit service area in each municipality. Chilliwack has already backed the plan, as has the Fraser Valley Regional District.

“From my perspective it’s about having patience. Three councillors felt they didn’t have enough information to vote for it,” said Mayor Sharon Gaetz, adding she hopes staff can provide the missing details.

Given that an election looms, city councils must be painfully aware of fiscal realities.

“But from where I stand, it’s absolutely imperative we get this going as soon as we can,” said Gaetz.

Transit users from University of the Fraser Valley have been actively lobbying for and eagerly awaiting a bus link between cities.

“Chilliwack took that seriously, and I know Abbotsford did, too,” said Gaetz.

There was hope the express bus could begin service in September 2014.

The matter is being brought back for reconsideration again next month at Abbotsford mayor Bruce Banman’s request.

Chilliwack council approved the creation of the service area for the new express bus route from Chilliwack, to Abbotsford and then to Langley.

“I think Abbotsford is assessing what is still in their coffers,” Gaetz said.

City of Chilliwack is putting away funds for the anticipated transit costs.

The total annual budget for the FV Express is $1,677,800. Chilliwack’s 20% share is $333,764, while Abbotsford’s 35% portion is $588,236, and BC Transit’s is $755,800. The municipal portions are based on assessed values of residential homes.

Coun. Jason Lum mentioned he was disappointed to see the transit proposal turned down in Abbotsford, but he suspects it will be just a minor setback.

“I think there’s lots of transit momentum being built. We need to continue in that direction.

“I feel for the people that got their hopes up. We hope it doesn’t put the start date of September 2014 in peril.”

His guess is that they’ll bring it back and take another good look after getting the necessary financial information.

“Perhaps once they get the information they are requesting, they will be able to move forward more comfortably with the route.”

jfeinberg@theprogress.com

Twitter.com/chwkjourno

Just Posted

Items seized by RCMP during a May 13 raid on Butchart Street. (RCMP photo)
Chilliwack RCMP seize guns and drugs during raid on Butchart Street property

Police executed a search warrant on a home May 13, arresting one man at the scene

Transit Future Action Plan for Chilliwack and FVRD aimed at increasing services over five years and restoring ridership to pre-COVID levels. (BC Transit)
Future planning for Chilliwack transit aims to restore ridership lost to pandemic

Transit future plan envisions adding peak buses and service hours over next five years

Vancouver Canucks’ Jake Virtanen (18) and Calgary Flames’ Josh Leivo, front right, vie for the puck as goalie Jacob Markstrom, back left, watches during the first period of an NHL hockey game in Vancouver, on Saturday, February 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Darryl Dyck
Vancouver Canucks forward Jake Virtanen sued over alleged sexual assault

Statement of claim says the woman, identified only by her initials, suffered physical and emotional damages

Looking out over the Fraser Valley from Chipmunk Ridge from the proposed Bridal Veil Mountain Resort. (BVMR)
Chance to ask questions about gondola resort proposal near Chilliwack

Project team for Bridal Veil Mountain Resort is holding another virtual info session

An avalanche near Highway 1 in Glacier National Park. Avalanche Canada will benefit from a $10 million grant from the B.C. government. (Photo by Parks Canada)
Avalanche Canada receives $10-million grant from B.C. government

Long sought-after funds to bolster organization’s important work

Sicamous RCMP Sgt. Murray McNeil and Cpl. Wade Fisher present seven-year-old Cody Krabbendam of Ranchero with an award for bravery on July 22, 2020. (Contributed)
7-year old Shuswap boy receives medal of bravery for rescuing child at beach

Last summer Cody Krabbendam jumped into the lake to save another boy from drowning

B.C. Health Minister Adrian Dix and provincial health officer Dr. Bonnie Henry update the province’s COVID-19 vaccine program, May 10, 2021. (B.C. government)
B.C.’s COVID-19 infection rate stays below 500 a day over weekend

14 more deaths, down to 350 in hospital as of Monday

Royal Bay Secondary School’s rainbow crosswalk was vandalized shortly after being painted but by Monday, coincidentally the International Day Against Homophobia, Transphobia and Biphobia, the crosswalk had been cleaned up and students had surrounded it with chalk messages of support and celebration. (Zoe Ducklow/News Staff)
B.C. high’s school’s pride crosswalk restored following ‘hateful’ graffiti attack

Hate terms, racial slur, phallic images spray-painted at Greater Victoria high school

Cannabis bought in British Columbia (Ashley Wadhwani/Black Press Media)
Is it time to start thinking about greener ways to package cannabis?

Packaging suppliers are still figuring eco-friendly and affordable packaging options that fit the mandates of Cannabis Regulations

Terrance Mack would have celebrated his 34th birthday on May 13, 2021. Mack’s family has identified him as the victim of a homicide in an apartment on Third Avenue in Port Alberni sometime in April. (SUBMITTED PHOTO)
Family identifies Ucluelet man as victim of Vancouver Island homicide

Terrance Mack being remembered as ‘kind, gentle’ man

Linda Annis, executive director of Metro Vancouver Crime Stoppers, at press conference Monday. (Submitted photo)
Crime Stoppers receiving $200K from province for ‘Guns and Gangs’ tip line campaign

Executive director Linda Annis broke the news Monday morning in Surrey

An avalanche near Highway 1 in Glacier National Park. Avalanche Canada will benefit from a $10 million grant from the B.C. government. (Photo by Parks Canada)
Avalanche Canada receives $10-million grant from B.C. government

Long sought-after funds to bolster organization’s important work

Daily confirmed COVID-19 cases reported to B.C. public health, seven-day rolling average in white, to May 12, 2021. (B.C. Centre for Disease Control)
B.C. preparing ‘Restart 2.0’ from COVID-19 as June approaches

Daily infections fall below 500 Friday, down to 387 in hospital

Most Read