An open letter to Mayor Banman and council:
The people of Abbotsford need to be better connected with the rest of Fraser Valley and Metro Vancouver with transit service linking Chilliwack, Abbotsford, and Langley, for several reasons.
First, it allows many people who live in Abbotsford an affordable way to get to their present jobs in Metro Vancouver and Chilliwack.
Assuming that a person living close to downtown Abbotsford is working in New Westminster, just for fuel, it costs approximately $10 to $13 for the round-trip every day. That is at least $2,400 per year.
In return, the money earned outside of Abbotsford will be brought here and spent in our community through property tax, food, house maintenance, and so on.
A transit service will help the unemployed and under-employed people in Abbotsford to access jobs in Langley and Surrey.
Already in Abbotsford there are hundreds of seniors without drivers’ licences that have a limited ability to access health care, meeting friends, and increase access to other areas of the Fraser Valley.
By connecting Chilliwack and Abbotsford we will be better serving the student population of the University of the Fraser Valley’s two main campuses. By providing a transportation link that is reliable and well-funded we are helping to create educational opportunities in our community. Without this transportation connection UFV is at risk of losing potential students to other universities throughout British Columbia where transit exists.
We are not an isolated part of British Columbia but interwoven in the economic and social fabric of Chilliwack, Langley, and beyond. And our public transportation network needs to reflect how we actually travel about the region.
I ask each member of city council to please get on board and help create an express BC Transit service from Chilliwack and Abbotsford to Langley. It is an investment in building a stronger and better Abbotsford for the future.