Strategy encouraged sustainable ways of getting around Whistler
Seasonal transportation initiatives introduced by the Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW) and the Transportation Advisory Group (TAG) will wrap up on the Labour Day weekend. The final day for free weekend transit and the free Lost Lake Shuttle will be Monday, September 4 and parking in Day Lots 4 and 5 will be free of charge starting Tuesday, September 5 until pay parking returns December 15, 2017 to April 15, 2018. Resident-employee August parking passes for Lots 4 and 5 will be valid until September 4. The last day for the Bike Valet secure bike parking service in the Village will be September 2 and September 10 for the Farmer’s Market bike valet service.
The changes to transit service and management of municipal parking lots were introduced as part of the transportation strategy adopted by Council on June 6, 2017 and aimed at addressing traffic and parking challenges now and into the future. The expanded pay parking generates funding for expanded transit and cycling services. Medium and long term recommendations including an expanded winter transit schedule, a Transit Spirit Pass and carpool program for Lots 4 and 5 will be introduced later this year.
“Our actions to improve transportation in Whistler are focused directly on protecting our quality of life, visitor experience and long-term success,” said Whistler mayor, Nancy Wilhelm-Morden. “Whistler has committed to a Community Energy and Climate Action Plan with a goal of reducing our overall climate footprint while sustainably managing growth in Whistler. Our focus as Council has always been to ensure Whistler remains a thriving mountain resort community by addressing issues in a thoughtful and proactive manner.”
The TAG will meet this September to review data and results from the summer transportation program and to consider future plans and priorities. Initial results indicate the free transit on weekends was even more popular than last year, with additional buses needing to be added during event weekends. Following a presentation by the TAG to Council later in the fall, residents will have an opportunity to share their feedback and suggestions at a community forum in November.
The RMOW encourages residents to incorporate sustainable transportation habits from the summer into their regular fall routines. Bus tickets can be purchased in sheets of 10 at the Visitor’s Centre for $22.50 (regular adult fare) which also allows each adult customer to bring up to three children under the age of 12 on board for free. The price of a monthly transit pass has decreased to $50 per month as a result of additional revenue from pay parking in all Day Lots.
As always, commuting by foot or bike on the Valley Trail is free and the lowest-carbon option for getting around Whistler. The Valley Trail has also been continually enhanced to link the entire community with new sections at Meadow Park Sports Centre and Nesters Crossing enabling a snow-cleared link year-round between the Rainbow and Cheakamus Crossing neighbourhoods.