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City of Abbotsford seeks federal funding for Montrose transit exchange

BC Transit to apply for grant to cover 80% of estimated $5.2 million cost
A conceptual drawing shows the plans for a new transit exchange on Montrose Avenue, looking north from McDougall Avenue.

The City of Abbotsford is pursuing a partnership with BC Transit and the federal government to construct a new transit exchange on Montrose Avenue.

The exchange would be located between McDougall Avenue and South Fraser Way in the area around Archway Community Services.

Council agreed at its executive meeting on Feb. 22 to have BC Transit apply to the Investing in Canada Infrastructure Program to cover 80 per cent of the design and construction of the exchange.

The preliminary cost estimate is $5.2 million, with the city’s portion ranging from $1.1 million to $1.75 million.

Montrose was identified as the priority location for a new transit exchange in the city’s 2018 Transportation and Transit Master Plan.

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“A new exchange on Montrose Avenue will enable the system to begin the transition away from the existing Bourquin Exchange at Sevenoaks Shopping Centre, which in turn will improve route directness and the ability to reinvest running-time savings into further service,” said a staff report to council.

The report says that an expanded Montrose Avenue exchange will facilitate future implementation of a new Gladwin route and the #1 Highstreet/UFV rapid bus line, as well as the realignment of the 31 Valley Connector regional route to downtown Abbotsford and then to UFV.

The design includes expanded sidewalks, additional shelters and benches, improved lighting, and maintaining the existing large trees with additional landscaping.

Other plans include bicycle parking, charging stations for electric bikes and vehicles, and designated parking spaces for passenger drop-off and pickup.

All council members were in support of the funding application.

Coun. Patricia Ross said the plans show “outstanding design and forward-thinking.”

“I believe this is going to be a huge economic benefit to growing the economy down their in the historic downtown area,” she said.

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Vikki Hopes

About the Author: Vikki Hopes

I have been a journalist for almost 40 years, and have been at the Abbotsford News since 1991.
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