The Resort Operations team are undertaking important actions to achieve climate goals aligned with the Big Moves Strategy. The Landscape and Village Services teams will be shifting many day-to-day operational trips to a fleet of cargo e-bikes. These e-bikes will be used to replace vehicle trips during the spring, summer and fall. RMOW operations staff will be seen on the Valley Trail and accessing areas of the Village with these new e-bikes to carry out day-to-day work. The e-bikes have been customized to accommodate equipment and will be recognizable with RMOW logos.
The Mayor and members of Council visited the Public Works Yard recently to trial the new e-bike fleet along with other initiatives underway with the operations crews. “Fifty-four per cent of Whistler’s carbon footprint comes from private passenger vehicle trips within Whistler.” Explained Mayor Jack Crompton. “Adding a fleet of cargo e-bikes for the Operations Team use helps support the Climate Action Strategy to move beyond the car. This tangible action helps us move towards our climate action goals.”
The RMOW intends to use this initial fleet of e-bikes as a test group to understand the potential for vehicle trips to be reduced across departments. The e-bikes are Class 2 pedal-assisted. This class of e-bike is permitted for use on Highway 99, municipal roads and Forest Service Roads. The RMOW Resort operations team are also permitted to use these e-bikes on the Valley Trail as an exception when accessing it for work-related purposes only. A similar exception allows RMOW vehicles to access the Valley Trail when needed for work purposes.
To aid in funding this initiative, the RMOW received a post-purchase grant from the British Columbia Specialty-Use Vehicle Incentive (SUVI) Program. The SUVI program accounted for $792 per bike for a total of $3,168 in grant funding.
In addition to the fleet electrification, the Village Maintenance crew will begin operating two new Utility Terrain Vehicles (UTV). These are used by crews on a daily basis to maintain all aspects of the Village Stroll and surrounding areas. The new gas-powered UTVs replace two 10-year-old diesel UTVs. The move to the newer, slightly larger gas-powered UTVs is expected to reduce emissions by up to 15 per cent with the use of a cleaner-burning fuel and the need for fewer trips because of the larger carrying size. These vehicles will also improve the Village Stroll experience by substantially reducing the vehicle noise currently associated with the older diesel counterparts.
The RMOW has also begun to transition many hand-operated power tools from gas-powered to electric. These tools include electric chainsaws and leaf blowers that will be used by the Resort Operations team. The use of cargo e-bikes and electric powered tools are a result of proactive planning and commitment to achieving the RMOW’s climate action goals.