Ridership across the Chilliwack and Agassiz/Harrison transit system is on the rise, with a 10.5% increase locally.
The Fraser Valley Regional District, City of Chilliwack and BC Transit announced the increase earlier this week, based on numbers from its annual report.
Ridership is up 10.5% over last year in the Agassiz-Harrison system and 5.6% in Chilliwack. BC Transit recorded 43,633 passenger trips in 2013/14 in Agassiz-Harrison as compared to 39,484 trips in 2012/13. In the City of Chilliwack, 545,811 passenger trips were delivered in 2013/14 compared to 517,050 trips in 2012/13.
The success of the system is largely due to the new medium-duty Vicinity buses that replaced the older, smaller buses last year.
They added customer capacity, which helped encourage ridership growth in the region, BC Transit’s report stated.
And In Chilliwack, growth had to do with an increase in service availability. That city enjoyed the largest single service hour expansion in September 2013. Growth on Route #1 Vedder, of about 15% over the past nine months, has been the driving force behind system-wide ridership gains.
“It wasn’t very long ago that residents of Agassiz, Harrison and Chilliwack had little choice but to drive to get around,” said Chilliwack-Hope MLA Laurie Throness. “Thanks to the vision of the Fraser Valley Regional District and BC Transit, public transit today is a reliable and affordable option, and the proof is the increased ridership.”
“Expansion of the BC Transit network in Chilliwack and the eastern Fraser Valley has paid off in growing numbers of people taking the bus to school, work and recreation opportunities,” said Chilliwack MLA John Martin. “If you aren’t familiar with the local transit system, you can plan your trip on-line via Google Map or Bing.”
Sharon Gaetz, Mayor of the City of Chilliwack and Chair of the Fraser Valley Regional District said, “Both the City and the Regional District are thrilled to see such a positive growth in ridership. We listened to the needs of our residents and made planning trips easier through Google maps and the online transit trip planner.”
“With strong local leadership we were able to increase service hours and vehicle capacity, making both systems more efficient and effective for our customers,” said BC Transit President and CEO Manuel Achadinha. “Congratulations to our partners at the Fraser Valley Regional District and the City of Chilliwack.”
For more information on the changes please pick up a Rider’s Guide on the bus, call 604.892.5559 or consult www.bctransit.com/regions/squ