Chilliwack/Abbotsford/Langley – The first anniversary of the Fraser Valley Express – FVX #66 will be celebrated with a free fare day Saturday April 9 and cupcakes and scratch and win bookmarks and transit passes on the day before, Friday April 8.
Since it’s inception, the FVX #66 has been a bright spot on the transit map , in direct contrast to the problems that Translink has with Skytrain break downs and crowded buses in the Metro Vancouver Transit System.
On average, the express takes 235 daily passengers from Chilliwack through Abbotsford and on to Langley with connections that lead to Skytrain and other Translink services.
Operated by BC Transit, the original predictions was 195 daily fares.
Over a year to year basis, that works out to 86,500 trips. The original prediction was 69,000.
With only six stops along the way, travel time and the lack of potential stop down delay time is minimal.
Even Rail for the Valley people admit that this system, albeit small in scale, is working.
From BC Transit’s website via Drew Snider, Media Relations for BC Transit :
For a year now, Fraser Valley residents have been getting their kicks on Route 66 – the #66 Fraser Valley Express (#66 FVX) will mark its first anniversary on April 6.
BC Transit and its partners, the Fraser Valley Regional District and the Cities of Abbotsford and Chilliwack, have some special events planned to thank everyone for making #66 FVX the success that it is.
On Friday, April 8, BC Transit Ambassadors will travel the route during the morning rush hour, offering customers cupcakes and scratch-and-win bookmarks, which could be worth a one-month BC Transit pass. Watch for various local leaders, riding the bus leaving Yale Road and Spadina in Chilliwack at 6:15 a.m.
On Saturday, April 9, all rides on #66 FVX will be free, to give those who haven’t tried the service yet a chance to experience it for themselves.
“The FVX is an invaluable service to the residents of our region and we have been pleased to partner with BC Transit on this initiative,” said FVRD Chair and Chilliwack Mayor Sharon Gaetz. “Taking the bus is a great alternative to driving. It gives passengers an opportunity to relax, while reducing their carbon footprint.”
In its first year, #66 FVX has proven to be more than just a fast bus route from Chilliwack, through Abbotsford, to Langley. It’s connected the Fraser Valley communities as never before and offered more mobility to transit users. For those who choose to live in the Valley and work in the Metro Vancouver area, the #66 FVX has also provided a commuting alternative to single-occupant vehicles.
“The success of this service in the first year speaks to how important this is for our region,” said Abbotsford Mayor Henry Braun. “The communities south of the Fraser River are some of the fastest growing in the province and this route connecting our Cities is an essential part of our regional transportation network.”
The recently-released review of Year One shows #66 FVX has been even more successful than initially expected:
Number of daily trips: 17 on weekdays; 4 on Saturdays
Average rides per day: 235 actual, versus 195 projected when the service began
What customers say:
Love, love this bus route … bus drivers are friendly and informative when re-routed due to accidents. Made many “bus” friends. Great service between communities.
I work in Chilliwack and live in Surrey and this is the only bus that gets me to work on time.
… makes it easier to visit my family at a low cost … being a student without a vehicle, you make it less stressful for me to get around … THANK YOU!!
I can’t imagine driving to Langley myself and racing for a bus.
… a relaxing ride to and from work … with friendly bus drivers and passengers.
Fastest route … safe and reasonable fare …
The stop in Langley provides great connection to other buses in Surrey, Langley and SkyTrain.
Another option aside from carpooling/Greyhounding to the Lower Mainland. It’s a pretty quick trip, as well.
“Many Chilliwack residents have experienced the convenience of taking the FVX bus to neighbouring communities over the past year,” said John Martin, MLA for Chilliwack. “Whether to commute to work or visit a favourite shopping destination, I hope more people take the opportunity to access this service and explore the many amenities in the Fraser Valley, including those in our own community.”
“Thanks to a strong partnership between the province, BC Transit and local governments, the Fraser Valley Express has provided reliable, affordable transportation for people to travel around the Fraser Valley,” said Darryl Plecas, MLA for Abbotsford South. “It has opened up opportunities for members of our communities that did not exist before this service began.”
“There’s no question that the Fraser Valley Express has already proven itself as an efficient and economical transportation link in the region,” says BC Transit CEO Manuel Achadinha. “And the success in the first year has been largely due to the people who ride the service to get to work, school or play.”
The #66 FVX runs 17 times a day in each direction, Monday through Friday, with four round-trips on Saturdays. With only six stops – three in Chilliwack, two in Abbotsford and the terminus at Carvolth Exchange in Langley – the service covers 65 kilometres quickly and efficiently.