Students could be riding a free shuttle between UFV's Chilliwack and Abbotsford campuses next year if a proposal to hire a private contractor is approved by the student body in March.
The one-year proposal would see all students pay a $6.75 fee for the university to hire a private bus to travel between the two campuses about 10 times a day between 7 a.m. and 10 p.m.
Student fees would cover about 60 per cent of the estimated $220,000 cost to run the shuttle for a year, and UFV would kick in the remaining 40 per cent, according to UFV Student Union Society president Shane Potter.
The plan would address a longstanding need for affordable transportation between the two campuses, he said.
Right now the only way to get between campuses is by car, Greyhound or taxi.
"We have students who literally are changing programs or have to wait for classes to open up in either Abbotsford or Chilliwack or wherever they live because there's no way to get between campuses," he said.
The issue has been exacerbated by the relocation of entire programs to the \new Chilliwack campus at Canada Education Park, said Potter, a fourth-year English major who lives in Chilliwack and commutes to Abbotsford every day.
But it's not only commuters who would benefit if the proposal were approved, he said. Parking at both campuses would also be freed up and there would be environmental benefits from getting cars of the road.
Students will get a chance to vote on the proposal in person or online at www. myufv.ca March 1 to 8.
Even if the shuttle is approved, however, the student union will continue to lobby the cities of Chilliwack and Abbotsford to put in a public bus link the following year, said Potter.
"I've always believed that if you want something done in government, if you do it yourself, then it kind of pushes the issue a little more," he said.