Transit pilot project needs provincial support

A pilot project proposal for regional transportation in Hope is seeking additional support from the FVRD to 'unfreeze' provincial funding

A recommendation was made at a meeting held on Tuesday Feb. 9 in council chambers at District Hall, that council request the FVRD Board to champion the province to allocate its share of transit funding to a pilot project that would establish a regional transit system connecting the District of Hope with Agassiz.

The District of Hope identified a need for public transit going back to 2011, when communications began with BC Transit and the FVRD to explore the possibility of providing regional transit to Hope.

A fast-tracked study resulted in potential options to utilize the Highway 7 corridor between Chilliwack and Hope. An open house occurred as part of the study and the findings were presented to council on May 14, 2012.

Further studies were conducted, and reports drafted included the final report released by BC Transit on July 21, 2013, which served as the foundation for the FVRD to explore potential partnerships with regional stakeholders, including First Nations. At that time it was determined that multiple partners were interested in participating in the establishment of affordable transit.

An appealing level of expense was presented to the District with a service area providing adequate transportation between Hope and Agassiz. The projected cost to the District at the time of the final report was $26, 467. This option proved to be palatable at the time.

With the BC Transit Final Report on the table and the CAO’s recommendation for council’s approval, continued negotiations occurred at the regional/provincial level.

The arrival of a new council in 2015, saw the revitalization of the idea. A new Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) was agreed upon which was to involve Care Transit and other stakeholders, initiating a partnership between BC Transit, the FVRD and the District towards creating a pilot project, which was thought to be a more attractive option to the province at the time of its conception.

Since that time the projected cost to the District which averaged somewhere between $24, 467 and $34, 936 was lost with the failed interest from stakeholders, and the province who declared that no funding was available within its 2015 Provincial Three Year Budget.

This left Hope on its own to absorb a total of $299,800 should council decide to fund the entire amount.

Option was also given to council to put political pressure on the Provincial Ministry of Transit and/or cabinet.

Tuesday’s meeting resulted in the endorsement of staff to bring the FVRD on board to push the province to unfreeze its provincial share of transit funding.

Staff is currently setting up a meeting with Chilliwack-Hope MLA Laurie Throness to discuss the project at length.

“At this time council feels that establishing a regional transit system between Hope and Agassiz would help promote economic growth, while improving the quality of life for the residents of Hope,” said Mayor Wilfried Vicktor. “A pilot project such as this would provide the gateway for a future of regional transit to Hope.”

Just Posted

Cpl. Scott MacLeod and Police Service Dog Jago. Jago was killed in the line of duty on Thursday, June 17. (RCMP)
Abbotsford police, RCMP grieve 4-year-old service dog killed in line of duty

Jago killed by armed suspect during ‘high-risk’ incident in Alberta

Kalyn Head, seen here on June 4, 2021, will be running 100 kilometres for her “birthday marathon” fundraiser on July 23. (Jenna Hauck/ Chilliwack Progress)
Woman’s 100-km birthday marathon from Chilliwack to Abbotsford will benefit Special Olympics B.C.

Kalyn Head hopes run raises awareness, advocates for inclusion of people with intellectual disabilities

Dancers from the Sts’ailes First Nation perform the eagle dance at a welcome banner dedication ceremony on Thursday, June 10. “Ey Swayel” is a Halq̓eméylem term translated as ‘a good day.’ (Adam Louis/Observer)
VIDEO: ‘A good day’ for Agassiz school as Sts’ailes welcome banner is dedicated

Banner hangs above the school’s entrance, welcoming students, staff and visitors

Missing Abbotsford man Adam Hobbs was found deceased on Thursday evening (June 17).
Body of missing Abbotsford man Adam Hobbs found

Hobbs was reported missing Monday after leaving his job site in Langley

UFV athletes were honoured for their strength and perseverance during the pandemic. (UFV photo)
Fraser Valley athletes recognized in year without sports

UFV Cascades athletes honoured for strength shown during the pandemic

Marco Mendicino, Minister of Immigration, Refugees and Citizenship during a press conference in Ottawa on Thursday, May 13, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Sean Kilpatrick
Canada to welcome 45,000 refugees this year, says immigration minister

Canada plans to increase persons admitted from 23,500 to 45,000 and expedite permanent residency applications

Emily Steele holds up a collage of her son, 16-year-old Elijah-Iain Beauregard who was stabbed and killed in June 2019, outside of Kelowna Law Courts on June 18. (Aaron Hemens/Capital News)
Kelowna woman who fatally stabbed teen facing up to 1.5 years of jail time

Her jail sentence would be followed by an additional one to 1.5 years of supervision

The George Road wildfire near Lytton, B.C., has grown to 250 hectares. (BC Wildfire Service)
B.C. drone sighting halts helicopters fighting 250 hectares of wildfire

‘If a drone collides with firefighting aircraft the consequences could be deadly,’ says BC Wildfire Service

A dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine is pictured at a vaccination site in Vancouver Thursday, March 11, 2021. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
NACI advice to mix vaccines gets varied reaction from AstraZeneca double-dosers

NACI recommends an mRNA vaccine for all Canadians receiving a second dose of a COVID-19 vaccine

A aerial view shows the debris going into Quesnel Lake caused by a tailings pond breach near the town of Likely, B.C., Tuesday, Aug. 5, 2014. THE CANADIAN PRESS/Jonathan Hayward
Updated tailings code after Mount Polley an improvement: B.C. mines auditor

British Columbia’s chief auditor of mines has found changes to the province’s requirements for tailings storage facilities

A North Vancouver man was arrested Friday and three police officers were injured after a 10-person broke out at English Bay on June 19, 2021. (Youtube/Screen grab)
Man arrested, 3 police injured during 10-person brawl at Vancouver beach

The arrest was captured on video by bystanders, many of whom heckled the officers as they struggled with the handcuffed man

Surrey Fire Service battled a dock fire along the Fraser River late Friday night (June 18). It was on Musqueam Drive, near Industrial Road, around 10:45 p.m. (Photo: Shane MacKichan)
VIDEO: Fire engulfs pier on Surrey side of the Fraser River

Dock has reportedly been unused for a long time

People in Metro Vancouver can expect to experience a short wave of heat just in time for Father’s Day, according to Environment Canada. (Black Press Media files)
Short-lived heatwave headed for Metro Vancouver this weekend

Temperatures are expected to be up to 10 degrees higher than average Sunday and Monday

Most Read