Pilot project responds to students’ demand for action on climate change
Free transit passes were handed out to Whistler high school students this week as part of a pilot project funded by an increase to monthly parking passes in Day Lots 1, 2 and 3 which are jointly managed by Whistler Blackcomb and the Resort Municipality of Whistler.
Mayor Jack Crompton helped hand out the first of the passes to students at Whistler Secondary on Tuesday.
“Students came out for the Global Climate Strike in September and told us they wanted us to do more to protect their future,” said Crompton. “Their activism is a driving force behind making this happen. With this program, we are giving them a tool to take climate action. I hope they start a movement to get their friends and families on transit to help reduce our community’s greenhouse gas emissions.”
All students registered for high school in Whistler are eligible to receive a bus pass with their name and photo that will be valid from January 2020 until September 30, 2020. Students in Grade 12 will be able to continue using their pass after graduation, until September 30, 2020. The Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW) will offer pro-rated refunds to students who purchased concession fare passes at municipal hall starting January 15, 2020.
Whistler Council received a presentation by the Transportation Advisory Group (TAG) at their regular meeting on November 5, 2019 recommending to move this project forward. The TAG recommended that the municipality launch a pilot project for 2020, providing all Whistler secondary students with free bus passes for the Whistler Transit System as a step towards reducing community emissions by encouraging local youth to take transit and become lifelong transit riders. To fund the passes, the TAG recommended increasing the cost of a monthly pass in Day Lots 1, 2 and 3 from $50 per month to $60.
The Whistler Transit System’s Family Travel Program already provides free transit for children 12 and under when traveling with a fare-paying adult. The addition of the free bus pass pilot program for High School students makes transit more affordable for Whistler families.
For more information about the free bus pass pilot program for Whistler High School students or about the Whistler Transit System visit www.whistler.ca/transit