FVX rolls out from Chilliwack for the first time

The new #66 bus route linking the communities of Chilliwack, Abbotsford and Langley saw a VIP ride on Tuesday morning

Dignitaries and representatives from BC Transit wait for the 10:15 Fraser Valley Express #66 bus to depart from Spadina Avenue in Chilliwack on Tuesday.

All aboard the Fraser Valley Express!

The new express bus rolled out from Chilliwack to points west for the first time Tuesday morning.

The new #66 bus route linking the communities of Chilliwack, Abbotsford and Langley saw an honourary VIP ride with local MLAs, municipal reps and BC Transit climbing aboard to test it out.

Mayor Sharon Gaetz is thrilled to see the FVX finally coming to fruition. Service starts on Monday, April 6.

“It is really happening! It doesn’t seem that long ago we were at UFV to receive an armload of petitions asking for this bus service,” Gaetz remembered. “We knew there was very strong demand for it from the university, and from the community in general.”

Suddenly there are so many options.

Some will take the bus to work, or access medical services at the Abbotsford Regional Hospital.

“I think some people might use it for pleasure to head to Abbotsford or elsewhere by bus to go shopping or see a movie,” said Gaetz.

“A lot of people will choose not to drive their cars, for a variety of reasons. It’s a whole new opportunity to get out of the community and go the big city, or to the Abbotsford Airport.”

Funding shared by BC Transit, and the cities of Chilliwack and Abbotsford, mean the route is heavily subsidized. The provincial share of the costs is at 53%.

“We could not be doing this without our partners, like BC Transit,” she said.

The community has been eagerly awaiting the new route and having an express bus to Abbotsford was an issue in recent elections, said Chilliwack MLA Laurie Throness.

“It’s a proud and happy day for Chilliwack,” he said before boarding the bus.

The transit fare of $5 allows riders to travel the FVX for 65 kilometres, which is very economical to boot, the MLA said, compared to Vancouver transit rates.

“It will help people think about their transportation choices and offer an economic alternative to driving,” added Gaetz. “People in the community are saying, ‘It’s about time!’ and they are excited.”

The bus between Chilliwack and points west was always high on the BC Transit list of “need to have” bus routes, and the demand for service was high whenever people were surveyed in the service communities.

On Easter Monday, April 6, riders can board the FVX and ride for free that first day of service.

The long-awaited #66 route has three local stops: at the Lickman Park & Ride, at Vedder and Luckakuck, and at the downtown exchange on Spadina Avenue.

It should take just under an hour and half to take the bus from Chilliwack to Langley, at at estimated 79 minutes, and with transfers to get to the ferries in 222 minutes.

In Abbotsford, the Express will stop at the McCallum park and ride and Highstreet Shopping Centre, and in Langley at the Carvolth Exchange.

It will cost $5 for a ticket and free for kids eight years and under. A book of 10 tickets will cost $45, and an adult monthly pass will be $100 and a student/senior monthly pass will cost $85. To purchase bus fares go to chilliwack.com/transit.

jfeinberg@theprogress.com

Twitter.com/chwkjourno

Just Posted

EDITORIAL: Post-grad years are your time

Editor Grace Kennedy shares a few words for this year’s high school grads

PHOTOS: Sasquatch Days about ‘being proud of being Sts’ailes’

The joint event between Harrison and Sts’ailes returned to the village for its eighth year

‘This was my baby’: Music teacher to retire after 29 years at Kent Elementary

Brenda Di Rezze will be saying goodbye to her music room at the end of this school year

LETTER: Harrison needs trees, not a new parking lot

Harrison resident Janne Perrin reminds council that trees are important too

UPDATE: Two young Chilliwack men facing at least five years jail for armed robbery

Darius Commodore and Jaimal Mclaren face 13 charges in Mission/Agassiz incident involving police dog

VIDEO: Reading splashes into Agassiz’s Ferny Coombe Pool

The Agassiz Library held its annual Reading in the Pool event Friday, June 14

Parents of BC murder victim want personal belongings returned

Lisa Dudley’s parents, Rosemarie and Mark Surakka, were at the Mission RCMP detachment Sunday

B.C. VIEWS: When farmland protection doesn’t protect farmers

Secondary residences aren’t mansions, families tell Lana Popham

Bombers down B.C. Lions 33-23 in season opener

Former Lion Andrew Harris leads Winnipeg with 148 rushing yards

Northern B.C. family remembers murdered Indigenous woman with memorial walk

Still no closure for Ramona Wilson’s family 25 years later

Pride flag taken down by Township of Langley

Woman said she was told it was removed from her front yard because of a complaint

B.C. university to offer mentorship program for former youth in care

Students using the provincial tuition waiver program will soon be able to form a community at KPU

Cyclists competing in one of the toughest bike races on the planet pass through Fernie

Divide riders looking strong as they finish first leg of 4160 km race

You might not know these B.C. records are public

Hired a lawyer to file a civil claim? Those are published online

Most Read