New transit connection could start by May 2013

BC Transit may create a Hope to Chilliwack route if demand is high enough.

Hope residents could see a new transit line linking the city to Chilliwack as early as May 2013. That’s if a proposed feasibility study shows a large enough demand for the service.

Hope Mayor Susan Johnston and Coun. Peter Robb got the opportunity to meet with B.C. Premier Christy Clark in September, during the annual Union of British Columbia Municipalities (UBCM) meeting, and they had a two-item agenda in mind – transit and RCMP costs.

The lack of transit services has been an issue for years and Robb said it impacts both the quality of life for citizens and hampers Hope’s economic development.

“We felt that the UBCM was a good opportunity to talk transit,” he explained.

“We don’t have transit at all.”

While Greyhound still operates routes in the area and the volunteer run Care Transit helps seniors to travel, BC Transit is nonexistent.

“For seniors to go to medical appointments in Chilliwack. To do shopping that they can’t get here, like special shoes and things, that’s an issue. The economic side of it is getting workers to come here, where businesses are short of workers in certain areas. Getting to and from is the issue,” he said.

The last time Robb spoke to BC Transit he was told it would be at least “five to eight years” before they would consider putting transit in Hope.

“We found that unacceptable.”

But this time, the reaction was different.

Robb said BC Transit president Manuel Achadinha was more receptive to the idea of linking Hope to Chilliwack.

“He is committed to doing a feasibility study in November of this year. If the ridership is there and the community embraces it, we could see limited service starting in May of next year.”

Robb said there won’t be a direct run from Hope to Chilliwack, rather transit would likely connect the communities through Harrison and Agassiz. He’s hoping there would be a morning and evening run to allow people to come back and forth to work and maybe even a mid-day run for medical appointments.

But the public has to be supportive of the idea.

“All these people that say we need transit, they need to come out to these public meetings,” said Robb.

Public transit meetings have not yet been scheduled, but are expected to take place in November.

“We understand that there is going to be some cost involved, transit doesn’t fund itself and never does. We are going to have to get creative.”

That could include partnering with transit and the Fraser Valley Regional District to help fund it.

Mayor Johnston took the lead on the RCMP issue, asking the premier and Attorney General Sheila Bond, to help offset policing costs. Currently more than 25 per cent of Hope’s total budget goes to policing.

Johnston said while they were cordial and listened to her comments, no help was offered.

She pointed out that communities of 5,000 or less do not pay anything for RCMP services and that Hope was only 1,300 people over that mark. A sliding payment scale was also suggested, but rejected.


“We’re too small to be big and too big to be small,” said Johnston, adding they will have to keep trying to find other cost savings.

Just Posted

Auditors couldn’t tell if Fraser Health executives bought booze on taxpayers’ dime

Review from 2014 says one administrator bought Bose headphones on company credit card

Experts detect risk of rock avalanche above Bridal Falls near Chilliwack

Risk in the one-in-10,000-year is minimal but triggers FVRD to direct growth elsewhere

VIDEO: Olympic medalist teaches swimming in Hope

Brent Hayden fondly remembers local swim meet from his youth

Metro gas prices hit 155.7 cents a litre and higher

Lower Mainland could see 1.60 cents by April

Free parking not in the cards for Fraser Valley hospitals

Chair says board may look at ways to make parking easier, but not free

Ottawa proposes restricted pot labels, packages

Packaging will include red stop sign with marijuana leaf and ‘THC’

Lower Mainland rabbits confirmed killed by highly-infectious virus

Feral colony on Annacis Island in Delta died from hemorrhagic disease. Pet rabbits could be at risk

B.C. Scientists witness first-ever documented killer whale infanticide

“It’s horrifying and fascinating at the same time.”

Okanagan Falls winery showing international photo project

Liquidity Wines will be sole Canadian show of National Geographic’s Photo Ark

Lawyer for one suspect in beating of man with autism says he’s not guilty

Ronjot Singh Dhami will turn himself in, lawyer said

Liberals awarded $100,000 contract to man at centre of Facebook data controversy

Christopher Wylie says his voter-profiling company collected private information from 50 million Facebook users

Facebook’s Zuckerberg admits mistakes in privacy scandal

Zuckerberg admits to privacy scandal involving a Trump-connected data-mining firm, but no apology

Online threat to U.S. high school traced to Canadian teen

A 14-year-old girl has been charged in connection with an online threat against a high school

Most Read