Transit schedules, rider protocols and parking affected
Changes to parking and transit will impact how everyone moves around Whistler this summer. COVID-19 has created new realities that affect all areas of municipal operations, and the Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW) remains committed to providing a variety of safe and reliable transportation services to the Whistler community.
The Transportation Advisory Group (TAG) recently recommended summer 2020 actions available for community input in February and March be revised. A price increase to the day rates in the Day Lots 1-5 was among the proposed actions for this summer, but has been put on hold due to COVID-19. There will be no increase to the day parking rates or change to other parking rates this summer. A modified list of proposed actions that support active transportation and climate positive actions will be moving forward. Learn more about the Transportation Action Plan.
Some of the pandemic-related factors currently influencing transportation in Whistler include:
- New provincial requirements to ensure health and safety of transit staff and passengers
- Reduced travel around the community due to business and school closures
- Reduced transit ridership due to decreased tourism and physical distancing
- Decreased evening transit ridership due to closure of late night establishments
- Decreased Day Lot parking revenue to fund parking lot operations, maintenance, and community transportation initiatives such as enhanced transit and increased secure bike parking
“Transportation services have been thoughtfully considered to balance service levels and climate action progress with reduced budgets and improved safety measures,” explained Mayor Jack Crompton. “I encourage the community to consider what their new normal transportation routine looks like and identify opportunities to eliminate non-essential personal vehicle trips as we move forward.”
Transit routes have been revised this summer and rider protocols have been introduced in response to COVID-19 impacts on the community.
New measures are in place to help keep transit staff and riders safe
Enhanced cleaning and sanitization on buses and at BC Transit facilities is ongoing. Rider face coverings are encouraged and bus capacities have been reduced to minimize the spread of illness. Riders are asked to practice proper hand hygiene and stay home if you are unwell. Travel at non-peak times if possible. Riders are also encouraged to use NextRide to find their bus and view available space onboard. Visit bctransit.com/Whistler for details.
Fare collection and front-door boarding resumed June 1
Bus passes and tickets are available for purchase at the following locations: Municipal Hall in Whistler Village, Nesters Market, Creekside Market and Forecast Coffee in Function Junction. The free high school transit pass program will continue as planned. Six and 12-month bus passes valid between March 20 and May 31 will be extended by up to 73 days. Please contact firstname.lastname@example.org for information.
Changes to the summer transit schedule delayed to July 1
The Lost Lake Shuttle and Free Weekends will return starting July 1, postponed from June 19, 2020.
Late night service reductions begin July 1. Due to decreased demand, transit service in Whistler will end at midnight. This will be revised once Phase 4 of the BC Restart plan is implemented. The last buses leaving Whistler Village from Gondola Transit Exchange are:
- Route 5: 12:05 a.m.
- Route 6: 12:22 a.m.
- Route 7: 12:06 a.m.
- Route 20: 12:15 a.m.
- Route 30: 12:20 a.m.
Never miss another bus by using NextRide, BC Transit’s real-time bus location technology. Bookmark NextRide to view the live location and capacity of the bus on your planned route and stay up to date on the latest schedule changes. BC Transit has been updating the capacity function to reflect recent regulation changes due to COVID-19. Learn more at bctransit.com/Whistler.
The Lost Lake shuttle and free weekend service on Saturdays, Sundays and holiday Mondays will begin on Canada Day, July 1 and end Labour Day, September 7. These services typically begin mid-June. No additional buses will be added on the weekends this summer. Complimentary weekends and holiday Monday service is courtesy of the RMOW and Whistler Blackcomb, and is funded by parking fees from Day Lots 1–5 as part of the Transportation Action Plan.
Fall schedule changes are scheduled to begin on Tuesday, September 8 and will be announced later this summer.
Seasonal pay parking in Day Lots 4 and 5 delayed to July 1
Peak season parking rates in the Day Lots 4 and 5 have been delayed to July 1 and will be in effect until September 15. Pay parking in Lots 1, 2 and 3 is in effect year round.
All parking prices remain unchanged this summer. Employee/resident parking passes are available in Day Lots 4 and 5 for $30 per month. Purchasing parking passes online is encouraged to decrease in-person contact at municipal hall and parking metres. Visit whistler.ca/parking for details.
Pay parking in Day Lots 1–5 generates important revenue for the community. It covers the operating costs of the Day Lots such as snow clearing, sweeping, and line painting as well as capital improvements, such as contributions towards the installation of the electric vehicle charging stations. A user-pay system ensures those who use parking, pay for it, rather than increasing community-wide taxes to fund these services.
A portion of Day Lot revenue also provides funding for Transportation Advisory Group recommended community transportation initiatives. Other transportation programs and services returning this summer, paid through the Community Transportation Initiative Fund, include:
- Bike Valet on Saturdays in the Village and Sundays at the Farmer’s Market
- Secure bike parking in the Library underground parking lot
- Monthly transit pass prices remain at $50, down from $65 in 2017.
Learn more about the Transportation Action Plan at whistler.ca/MovingWhistler.
In recent months, personal vehicle travel in the community has decreased due to COVID-19. For many in Whistler, the pandemic has meant fewer trips into the community. For others, this has meant more time to choose active travel options like walking and biking.
As businesses reopen and trips increase, taking action on Whistler’s climate footprint continues to be a shared responsibility. Emissions from private passenger vehicles make up the largest part of Whistler’s community carbon footprint – at 57 percent. The RMOW is continuing the Maytober Challenge that began last year and is challenging residents to switch out one private passenger vehicle trip each week for a lower-carbon transportation choice until October 1. Every trip made by walking, transit, or biking decreases greenhouse gas emissions in Whistler. Active travel choices can also improve mental and physical health by reducing stress and strengthening the immune system. Learn more about the programs and infrastructure in place to make it easier than ever to choose a lower carbon transportation option. Visit whistler.ca/Maytober for details.
View Whistler’s vision for a low carbon future and the Big Moves strategy at whistler.ca/climate.