With the arrival of winter weather and the holiday season, residents and visitors can anticipate increased road congestion and challenging road conditions, particularly during the period of December 23 to January 9, 2018. To help everyone get where they want to go, the Resort Municipality of Whistler’s (RMOW) Transportation Advisory Group (TAG) has introduced a number of new services.
Increased transit service, Spirit Pass pricing for bus passes, parking passes for carpools and a new online winter Valley Trail map are a few of the of the new options aimed at making it easier for residents and visitors to choose alternative modes of transport to, from and within Whistler. As outlined this summer, pay parking will return to Day lots 4, 5 on December 15 and continue until April 15, 2018 with the additional revenue helping to fund the increase in transportation services.
The RMOW has partnered with the Whistler Chamber of Commerce to introduce a reduced-price Transit Spirit Pass. Employees participating in the Whistler Experience Spirit program will be able to purchase a 6-month and 12-month bus passes at a 20-20 per cent discount receiving one month free with a 6-month transit pass, and three months free with a 12-month transit pass. For example, a 12-month pass will now cost just $450 instead of $600 under the new program.
The introduction of expanded pay parking during peak seasons helped fund cutting the price of all monthly bus passes earlier this year from $65 to $50. Additionally, the Family Travel Program has been expanded, allowing a fare-paying adult to bring up to three children under 12 with them at no charge. Additional hours and buses were introduced to the Whistler Transit fleet in November, with the full winter service schedule coming into effect December 13 nearly doubling the number of transit hours from the summer.
This fall, Whistler Transit began allowing people to bring their residential compost, recycling and landfill waste on the bus in a leak and puncture resistant container (plastic bags are not permitted). This change was aimed at making it easier for people without access to a vehicle to stay on top of household waste and reducing wildlife attractants in our local neighbourhoods.
For more information about new transit programs and scheduling, visit www.whistler.ca/transit.
RMOW staff continue to work with BC Transit and regional partners on next steps in the implementation of a sustainable regional transit service in the Sea to Sky corridor, from Mount Currie through to Metro Vancouver. For more information, visit www.bctransit.com/SeaToSky .
Carpooling and Parking
This winter, the TAG will be testing carpool parking both in public and private parking locations. Carpool parking passes are being introduced December 15 for Day Lots 4 and 5 and are intended to provide flexibility for groups of employees who travel together, with multiple license plates permitted on one parking pass. Only one vehicle at a time is permitted to park with the carpool pass. Carpool and regular parking passes for Day Lots 4 and 5 are limited to Whistler residents and employees. Passes can be purchased at Municipal Hall during business hours.
Please note winter parking regulations are in effect, which means no overnight parking in any Day Lots. The Library underground parking lot and Conference Centre underground parking lot offer a $5 overnight rate. Learn more about parking locations and pricing at www.whistler.ca/parking.
The RMOW will introduce a new winter Valley Trail map through its new online GIS platform on December 15 to help navigation by foot and bike all year long. The RMOW plows most sections of the Valley Trail to allow for safe walking conditions between neighbourhoods and amenities in Whistler. Valley Trail plowing is subject to weather events, during heavy snowfall it may take longer for certain sections to be plowed, as crews deal with priority roads and routes first.
For residents living in Alpine Meadows, Nicklaus North and Spruce Grove, the opportunity to cross country ski to and from the Village along the Valley Trail offers a unique and beautiful way to get around. After December 15 access the winter Valley Trail and cross country ski maps at www.whistler.ca/maps.
Active transportation is a great way to fit in daily exercise and take advantage of Whistler’s amazing trail network all year long.
Helping Whistler reduce road congestion and emissions
There are significant benefits to individuals and communities that integrate public transit, carpool or active transportation into daily routines. Limiting reliance on personal vehicles results in reduced household expenses, improved personal health and local air quality, increased road safety, and increased overall community well-being. It is also the most significant action individuals can take to decrease local contributions to emissions, as 68 per cent of Whistler’s day to day community greenhouse gas emissions are the result of personal vehicle travel.