UFV shuttle bus gets ready to roll

Students at the University of the Fraser Valley now have an easy way to commute between Chilliwack and Abbotsford campuses.

Come September, students at the University of the Fraser Valley will finally have an easy and affordable way to travel between the Chilliwack and Abbotsford campuses.

The new Campus Connector shuttle bus will run 15 times per day each way Monday to Thursday, and eight times per day on Fridays.

Last March, SUS members voted 75 per cent in favour of paying $6.75 each annually towards a private shuttle bus.

“Due to the lack of public transportation between Chilliwack and Abbotsford, there has been a strong push from students for solutions,” said SUS president Shane Potter in a release. “I am thrilled that now we have an option for students to travel between the Abbotsford campus and the Chilliwack campus at Canada Education Park. Even students who have cars are welcome to park them, ride the shuttle, save money, and reduce their environmental impact.”

UFV students took the matter into their own hands after years of campaigning both cities for a public bus route has not resulted in a bus. Even though it is common for students to have courses and events at both campuses, current transportation options include owning a vehicle, and using an inconvenient Greyhound bus.

The Campus Connector, consisting of two 20-seater, wheelchair-accessible buses, goes online Tuesday, Sept. 3, 2013. The bus is free to UFV students and staff. Students will have first priority for boarding.

The shuttle will stop at Building A on the Chilliwack campus, the Trades and Technology Centre, and the Park and Ride near the Lickman Road overpass.

In Abbotsford, stops are at the main campus and at the Park and Ride near the McCallum overpass.

The schedule was aligned to common course start and end times, with buses running from early morning to nearly midnight.

The Campus Connector is a joint effort between the Student Union Society (SUS) and UFV. The university will cover 40 per-cent of the $200,000 service, while students cover 60 percent through the $6.75 increase in fees.

Jody Gordon, UFV’s vice-president for student services, supported the initiative as a means to address longstanding transportation challenges between UFV campuses.

“It is very important to our university to have our campuses well connected. We know that many of our students live in one community but study in another, or may want to attend special events. While we can’t connect all of our eight university locations in the Fraser Valley by shuttle at this time, this is a very positive start,” said Gordon in a release.

Meanwhile, the City of Chilliwack is taking steps towards an express Chilliwack–Abbotsford public bus, which it hopes to have operational within two years.

The full schedule of the new UFV shuttle bus is available at www.ufv.ca/studentservices/shuttlebus.

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