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BC Transit reveals more details on Route 22

The proposed schedule for Route 22. The bus stop at Seabird Island is tentative. - BC Transit
The proposed schedule for Route 22. The bus stop at Seabird Island is tentative.
— image credit: BC Transit

New details about Route 22 have emerged and so have recommendations.

BC Transit released its Hope Transit Service Implementation Plan draft on March 14 and also had its  regional manager Lisa Trotter present to the District of Hope’s council on March 27.

New details include a new route option which builds upon the route serving Silver Creek and Kawkawa Lake, and includes service to Seabird Island, plus the exact locations of the bus stops.

On weekdays, the first of four bus runs on Route 22 leaves Agassiz at 6 a.m. and reaches Hope at 6:30 a.m., then continues through the other nine bus stops in Hope before leaving for Agassiz again, reaching at 7:31 a.m.

BC Transit has also scheduled the bus for Saturdays, but not Sundays. Saturday runs will start later in the morning, with the first bus leaving at 8 a.m. Afternoon runs start at the same time.

“Based on the feedback we had at the engagement ... most of the driving factor was that people wanted to leave in the morning, spend some time in Chilliwack and get back in the evening,” said Trotter. “We based the routing around the most responses we got in the public engagement.”

Trotter added that the route can be “tweaked” while the service is operating and every year, BC Transit will hosts consultations on expansions of the route.

Trotter also said that Route 22 and Route 11, the Agassiz-Chilliwack route, have been timed so that passengers can transfer. She also said that Seabird Island has shown interest in having a bus stop, but that is still unconfirmed.

BC Transit is looking at six tentative places to put stops downtown and two each in Kawkawa Lake, just past the Coquihalla Bridge, and in Silver Creek, near the Silver Creek Elementary School. Downtown stops will allow access to District Hall, Hope and District Recreation Centre and Fraser Canyon Hospital.

Infrastructure such as bus stops will be paid by the District of Hope. At this point, they recommend a bus stop have a pole and transit flag sign, and also putting the bus route on top priority for snow removal.

The recommendation expects that some downtown parking will be used as a park and ride to access the transit service.

“BC Transit will continue to work with the District of Hope to identify proposed bus stop locations,” said Trotter. “And we’ll continue as we get closer to implementation to make sure those are the right stops at the right places.”

The latest routing will have a net local cost of $173,000, which means an increase of $8,700 to service Seabird Island, although Seabird Island will pay into the service.

BC Transit does not have a finalized fare strategy yet, although Trotter said they want to make the fare in line with other communities, such as Route 11’s fare, to make it simple for customers. Trotter said they have a May deadline for their decision.

Coinciding with the new bus service is expanded service in Chilliwack. Trotter informed council that multiple routes will get additional service and the Fraser Valley Express will get holiday and Sunday service in September.

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