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Regional bus debate returns in new year

The debate over a bus connecting Chilliwack, Abbotsford and Langley will return to council on Dec. 6.  - File photo
The debate over a bus connecting Chilliwack, Abbotsford and Langley will return to council on Dec. 6.
— image credit: File photo

The debate over creating a Fraser Valley regional bus will return to Abbotsford council in the new year, after the proposal was defeated in a vote on Oct. 21.

The issue returned on Dec. 9 and was postponed until a full council is present for the debate.

In September, the Fraser Valley Regional District (FVRD) green-lighted a BC Transit bus to connect Chilliwack, Abbotsford and Langley. After unanimous approval from FVRD directors and the Chilliwack’s city council, Abbotsford council shot down the plan.

Some councillors expressed concern about the lack of information surrounding the proposal and Abbotsford’s share of the cost – paying $558,238 while Chilliwack would pay $333,764 and Langley contributes nothing.

Mayor Bruce Banman said that as three councillors were absent from the Oct. 21 discussion, he would use his executive powers to bring back the plan for another vote, with more presentations by representatives from BC Transit and the FVRD..

In early November, students at the University of the Fraser Valley (UFV) voted to expand the service of a new campus bus system that connects the Abbotsford and Chilliwack locations.

The Campus Connector shuttle service was launched in the fall, running 15 times a day both ways from Monday to Thursday, and eight times on Friday, between the campuses.

The UFV project is a year-long pilot project, but Stickland said,“...SUS has communicated with students that should the cities bring in an adequate service for students, we would drop our connector service… as needed.”

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