Having a bus that connects Abbotsford to Chilliwack and Metro Vancouver is an important step forward in creating a regional transit network. However, when I look through the pricing of the proposed service I can’t help but wonder if the FVRD and BC Transit are trying to kill the service before it starts.
The Fraser Valley Express has a suggested fare of $6 per ride regardless of distance. It will not allow transfers from the Chilliwack, Abbotsford, or TransLink transit systems.
This means a weekday trip from Seven Oaks Mall to Vancouver will cost the rider $13.75. The same trip via the 21 Aldergrove Connector and the 503 to the SkyTrain is only $7.75. A savings of $6 each way. Or $12 for a round trip
Presently minimum wage in BC is at $10.25/hour before taxes. So we are asking low wage earners to work approximately 90 minutes before they can afford to ride the Fraser Valley Express. And this doesn’t cover the extra fares from Abbotsford and TransLink buses.
In order for transit to be effective it must be affordable to use. And it has to be priced competitive to existing services.