The Campus Connector is a service provided by the UFV Student Union
Society to shuttle students
between the campuses in Chilliwack and Abbotsford, in addition to
providing transportation to campus for
students in Langley. The service is almost entirely funded by the
Inter-Campus Shuttle fee paid for by
students, and has become an invaluable service over the years. There are
students who would have been
unable to attend UFV without the shuttle services, and many more who
depend on it to cut costs, reduce
congestion, and limit the environmental impact.
The shuttle has been run at a deficit this year in order to accommodate
the number of riders. With the
increased usage between Langley and Abbotsford, we are spending
significantly more than we are
bringing in. We had to reduce the number of buses in the Winter 2020
semester, but even with this
reduction, the shuttle service is projected to run more than a $100,000
deficit this fiscal year.
We are currently in the midst of renegotiating our contract with the
shuttle providers and expect costs to
rise significantly: new buses will need to be purchased in the near
future as the current fleet is at the end
of its life. We are looking to improve the service as we are aware of
the complaints students have, so we
plan to avoid locking in the contract for more than a year or two. We
would like to expand the service as
UFV continues to grow, but those negotiations are a slow process.
In order to continue running the shuttle at current capacity, we need to
index the fee by 15%. This would
bring the current fee of $27.23 to $31.31 a semester. This allows us to
cover costs, but will not allow
growth or savings to expand in the future, but has the benefit of
limiting the costs for students.
Alternatively, we would like to present the option of indexing the fee
by a greater margin to $35.40, a 30%
increase from the current fee. This level of increase would allow us to
bring the shuttle back to previous
levels of service while saving a small portion to expand in the future.
We are currently in contact with BC
Transit to see how the service could grow over the coming years, so
replacing the funds spent this past
year would be valuable in pursuing that opportunity. We also recognize
that while an additional $8.17 is not
significant to those who use the shuttle and depend on it, it could be
frustrating for those who carry the
cost for other students and do not use the service themselves.
We are holding a referendum for students to vote and decide themselves
if and how the fee should
change. The first question will just address whether you support
indexing the shuttle fee a minimum of
15%. The second question will ask if you support an index of 30% to
increase the service. If the first
question passes and the second does not, the shuttle will only be
indexed 15%. If the first question fails,
the second will as well.
The questions are as follows:
Do you support an increase to the shuttle fee of 15%, bringing the
fee from $27.23 to $31.31 per
Do you support an additional increase of the shuttle fee of 15%
(total 30%), bringing the fee from
$31.31 to $35.40 per semester?
If the referendum does not pass, shuttle services will be reduced until
we are no longer running a deficit.