User pay parking to be introduced as a pilot project in four municipal parks
June 8, 2021: Whistler, B.C. – This summer, Whistler residents and visitors are encouraged to move beyond their vehicles. As part of the Resort Municipality of Whistler’s Summer Experience Plan, the RMOW will be supporting the public’s use of sustainable transportation to travel locally. Known as Park and Play, the program encourages motorists to park their vehicle and take advantage of free local transit and the free Rainbow Park shuttle on weekends and holidays beginning June 19. Additionally, the Park and Play program provides secure bike and gear storage in Whistler Olympic Park, Lost Lake Park and Rainbow Park on Fridays, Saturdays and Sundays, starting on June 18.
To manage parking demand at some of Whistler’s busier parks, the municipality is piloting a summer user pay parking program at Rainbow, Lakeside, Alpha and Wayside Parks and on Alta Lake Road, adjacent to the Rainbow Park entrance. The target start date is June 15. User pay parking has shown to increase turnover, allowing more people to enjoy the park each day.
Pay parking will be in effect daily, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. at an hourly rate of $2. Similar to the Village Day Lots and Main Street, parking can be purchased via meters and PayByPhone. Accessible parking will be offered at no cost.
Bringing in user pay parking at select parks also supports the RMOW’s Climate Action Big Moves Strategy. Currently, emissions from private passenger vehicles make up the largest part of Whistler’s community carbon footprint – at 57%. The first Big Move in Whistler’s new climate action strategy aims to get everyone who is able to use transit and active transportation for half of their Whistler trips by 2030.
Parking revenues will be reinvested into the Summer Experience Plan to support the free Rainbow Park shuttle, and active transportation initiatives such as secure bike and gear storage.
“By providing sustainable and convenient local transportation options to our residents and guests, we are able to reduce our local GHG emissions to move us closer to our Big Move targets,” said Mayor Jack Crompton. “Climate change is a global challenge that we all need to take action on, we need to act now to change our local emissions trajectory. We have an opportunity and an obligation to do our part in reducing our contribution to this global crisis.”
Questions regarding the summer parking pilot project can be directed to firstname.lastname@example.org.
Electric Vehicle charging station fees
Starting Tuesday, June 15, the RMOW will also introduce first phase of a time-based fee at some electric vehicle (EV) charging stations outside the Day Lots. The $1 per hour fee will apply to Level 2 EV charging stations at Municipal Hall, Whistler Conference Centre, and the Public Works Yard. The RMOW does not operate the DC Fast Charging Station at the Whistler Conference Centre.
The next phase of the EV Station Fee Strategy kicks in this winter. A $1 per hour fee will apply to EV stations in the Day Lots with a cost ceiling of $5 per day. Fees for the other EV stations will increase to $2 per hour, mirroring rates in nearby communities.
EV charges at Meadow Park Sports Centre will remain free for 2021.
The new fees were carefully selected to offset municipal operation costs and increase turnover, while also encouraging people in Whistler to drive EVs. The fees will be monitored and may be adjusted in the future based on usage.
The second Big Move in the new Climate Action Strategy is to decarbonize passenger and commercial transportation. Specifically, by 2030, 50 per cent of vehicle kilometres travelled will be by zero-emission vehicles.