What will it take to get people out of their cars and on the bus?
Chilliwack Mayor Sharon Gaetz asked that question while aboard a tricked out BC Transit bus parked at city hall Monday morning for a media event.
“We have heard loud and clear that people want to see some changes to our transit system,” Gaetz said.
The interactive bus is actually a mobile public consultation tool, visiting Chilliwack and the Eastern Fraser Valley this week to spark interest in the draft Transit Future with local, regional, and inter-regional service improvement ideas.
“Now we hope everyone jumps on this opportunity to be heard,” said Gaetz.
Two new routing options for the Chilliwack Transit System were mapped out on the bus, and people voted for their favourite with colourful dots, or on sticky notes when the bus was parked at the mall on the weekend.
The feedback on sticky notes included a call for a “fast bus to the Sky Train,” while another wrote, “Don’t totally rule out Rail for the Valley.”
Some wanted earlier bus service on the weekends, while another simply asked for “good bus connections” to be added.
“We set a goal to double ridership over the next 25 years, and that has set off work on this comprehensive transit plan,” explained BC Transit vice-president Mike Davis.
Planning for Chilliwack focuses on faster service and a simpler route that goes to the new Walmart, but will also include regional connections to and from Agassiz, Harrison, Hope and the Central Fraser Valley.
“This plan supports our FVRD goals for cleaner and greener air,” said the mayor, who is also an FVRD director. “But the question remains, what will it take for you to get on the bus?”
The Transit Future bus is in Agassiz on May 3 from 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the Aberdeen Centre, and then it’s back in Chilliwack on May 4 at Evergreen Hall from 4 p.m. to 6 p.m.
Residents can shape the Future Transit plan by offering comments on paper, from the handy iPads provided on the bus, or from home by going to
www.bctransit.com and clicking on ‘Transit Future.’