UPDATED: $28 million in transit funding coming for new buses, maintenance facility in Fraser Valley

Abbotsford first to benefit from new federal fund

MP Jati Sidhu (at the podium) and other politicians announced $28 million in funding for a new transit facility in Abbotsford Monday morning.

Abbotsford is getting a new $28 million transit depot and maintenance facility.

MP Jati Sidhu, the Liberal representative for Mission-Matsqui-Fraser Canyon, made the announcement on behalf of his government on Monday morning.

This announcement is part of the first phase of the federal government’s Public Transit Infrastructure fund.

Abbotsford is the first community to benefit from such a partnership between a provincial government and the federal Liberal government.

“I was pleasantly pleased to have this announcement. I thought this might be a little further down the pike,” said Abbotsford Mayor Henry Braun.

“Abbotsford likes to be first,” he said.

The facility will support buses fueled by compressed natural gas (CNG).

According to Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure spokesperson Kate Mukasa, there are currently 38 buses in Abbotsford that could be replaced by CNG buses for $585,000 each – $85,000 more than diesel buses.

“CNG buses require lower operating costs, so the total life cycle of a CNG bus makes the cost comparable, if not cheaper,” said Mukasa, in an email.

“I was pleasantly pleased to have this announcement. I thought this might be a little further down the pike,” said Abbotsford Mayor Henry Braun.

The City of Abbotsford’s official community plan calls for a more densely populated core and in order for that plan to be successful, more transit is needed, said Braun.

“This is a major contribution towards achieving the strategic vision of the official community plan,” he said. “This is huge for us.”

The new buses may also have security cameras and wireless Internet.

The exact location of the facility has not been announced but BC Transit and the city are now looking for a site, said Mukasa.

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