It was a pleasure to attend your event on Monday. I hope you had as much success in Abbotsford and Mission. It was heartening to meet with the Student Union Society and members of the Students for Sustainability. Thank you for making that happen.
I wish I could provide you with a commitment today to support regional service between Abbotsford and Chilliwack, however, I cannot.
What I can do is commit to partnering with Abbotsford, Mission, the FVRD and the Province to develop a regional transit plan. That work will provide the answers required for all the funding partners to approve the expenditures necessary to run the system. Until then we can offer support, without commitment. Like you I was encouraged by the Premier’s mention of Rapid Bus service from Langley to Chilliwack in his recent address to the Union of BC Municipalities, and I hope this is an indication of the Provincial desire to lead and fund a regional system.
While we work with the regional government and neighbouring Cities to develop our first ever regional transit system, we must lobby the Province to increase funding for our local system. The travel market in Chilliwack predominantly stays in Chilliwack (87%) with 10% traveling to Abbotsford and 3% traveling beyond to Metro. With those travel patterns, you must appreciate our first priority must be to strengthening our local system.
I appreciate the many supporting statements for a bus system that assists in travel to and from the campuses and the almost 6,000 people that took the time to petition the transportation partners. I want to assure you that all that is preventing us from making this a reality is funding.
Please let me know if I can provide you with any additional information, or you may contact our Manager of Transportation and Drainage, Mr. Sanderson, directly, at 604 793 2944.
Once again, it was indeed a pleasure to meet you. Keep up the good work!
Mayor Sharon Gaetz