UFV students support shuttle bus

Students agree to pay for a private shuttle bus between Abbotsford and Chilliwack starting this fall.

University of the Fraser Valley students are hiring a shuttle bus by September, 2013 to transport them between the Chilliwack and Abbotsford campuses. The expectation is that this move will pressure the two cities into finally establishing a permanent inter-city public bus.

Student Union Society members held a referendum in the first week of March, and results were ratified last Friday.

75 per cent of voters said ‘yes’ to paying an additional $6.75 annually to hire a private bus.

“I’m not surprised,” says SUS president Shane Potter of the high final figure. “We had a lot of positive feedback, and we had a lot of people really supporting it.” This included the hugely supportive campus environmental group Students for Sustainability.

Over 1,000 of the 9,500 eligible SUS members cast their votes, a much higher figure than the “norm” of 600 votes in a referendum, says Potter.

SUS is now signing a Memorandum of Understanding with UFV, which will take the lead in hiring the bus through an open bid.

“Now it’s just a question of allowing the companies to competitively bid for the route, and start up,” says Potter.

UFV will handle the “business side” of the shuttle bus, says Potter.

Although the final structure will depend on the winning bid, SUS and UFV are planning for a 40-passenger bus to complete 10 trips per day, from early morning to late evening.

For now, SUS student fees are due to cover 60 per cent of the estimated $200,000 bus cost. UFV will cover the other 40 per cent. SUS is looking into advertising on the bus to reduce the financial burden.

Although SUS members will fund most of the bus cost, the bus will be freely available to all 16,000 UFV students, as well as to faculty and staff.

The success of establishing the route demonstrates that there is high demand for an inter-city public bus, says Potter. He expects lobbying pressure on the municipal governments to increase as a result.

“This is really just a band-aid solution. We hope this lobbies the municipal governments to have a public route,” says Potter. “I don’t believe this is sustainable. I don’t believe this is something we need to be doing every year. What we do need, is the municipalities of Chilliwack and Abbotsford to step up and provide a permanent public option.”

Laying the full cost of inter-campus transport on students is unfair, according to Potter.

“It shouldn’t be on the backs of the university and the students to provide this route. We need a public route.”

The cities of Chilliwack and Abbotsford have had an inter-city public bus service in the pipeline for years.

The UFV shuttle bus announcement comes shortly after Greyhound, the only mass transit service between the two cities, cut its service by 50 per cent on the route.



Just Posted

Chilliwack Chiefs rally falls one short in loss to Langley

The Rivermen jumped out to a 4 goal lead then hung on for a 4-3 win at Prospera Centre.

Search continues near Ashcroft for missing Prince George woman

Jenny Lynn Larocque’s vehicle and dog were found in Venables Valley, but there is no sign of her

Prevailing in the face of adversity

Chilliwack pilot living life to fullest will speak at UFV Oct. 23

UPDATE w/ VIDEO: Chilliwack homeless camp given eviction notice

Inside the camp that will be removed by Monday RCMP according to trespass notice

Missing Chilliwack teen found ‘safe and sound’

Boy found just as mother was organizing search

VIDEO: Sears liquidation sales continue across B.C.

Sales are expected to continue into the New Year

Human remains found at Silver Creek property

RCMP have been searching the property in the 2200 block of Salmon River Road for the past three days

New B.C. acute care centre opens for young patients, expectant mothers

Facility aims to make B.C. Children’s Hospital visits more comfortable

Police officer hit by car, stabbed in Edmonton attack back on job

Const. Mike Chernyk, 48, returned to work Thursday

UBC medical students learn to care for Indigenous people

Students in health-related studies to take course, workshop to help better serve Aboriginal people

Dorsett has 2 goals, assist in Canucks’ 4-2 win over Sabres

‘It was a real good hockey game by our group,’ Canucks coach Travis Green said.

Berry disappointed: Bear tries to eat fake fruit on woman’s door wreath

A Winnipeg woman has taken her berry-embellished wreath down, after a hungry bear visited her porch

Are you ready for storm season?

BC Hydro offers tips on preparing for the storm season

Man in custody linked police search near Salmon Arm

Police have not connected arrest to search at Salmon River Road property

Most Read