New transit routes and fare increases coming

Service to Seniors Centre and Walmart will be added

Two new stops will be added along the transit route, making it easier for seniors and shoppers to get to their destinations.

Beginning January 2013, transit services on the Shopper Shuttle will also make stops at the Seniors Centre and Walmart. There will also be an additional return trip on the number 31 Abbotsford-Mission Connector to improve service to the West Coast Express.

The change will be cost neutral because the East Mission night service along route 40 will stop running at 8:30 p.m., instead of 10:15 p.m. On average, 1.7 people use the night time route, and the Mission Abbotsford Transit Committee (MATC) anticipates ridership on the new route will more than make up for it.

Mission council also approved a 50-cent transit fare increase, beginning next year, even though it was not included in the report to council.

Mission’s director of engineering and public works, Rick Bomhof, explained Abbotsford staff had concerns about the rate increase and wanted to bring it back for discussion at the MATC level before forwarding it to the respective councils.

“We debated this issue … already and I don’t want to do it again,” said Mayor Ted Adlem. “We voted on a 50-cent increase.”

We already missed the target to increase fares by September, added Coun. Jeff Jewell, who also didn’t want to delay.

“Staff in Abbotsford are not being blindsided,” offered Coun. Tony Luck. “It’s taken four or five months to do this.”