Switching out one vehicle trip per week for transit, cycling or walking helps reduce community greenhouse gas emissions and can make a difference all year
Whistler residents took up the Maytober Challenge—biking, walking and taking transit instead of driving—and as a result, potentially helped reduce our community’s climate footprint by as much 600 tonnes between May 1 and October 1 this year.
From May 1 to October 1:
- 2,610 bikes were parked with Whistler’s free zero-emission bike valet program up from 1,555 in 2018. This was the result of increased participation and expansion of the zero-emission bike valet program day to Saturdays in July and August.
- The Whistler Transit System carried 12,399 bikes on the front-of-bus bike racks, up 17% from summer 2018.
- More people are choosing the Whistler Transit System to be part of their regular commute. Over 23,500 more rides were paid for on the Whistler Transit System using a monthly pass or pre-purchased tickets in 2019 than during the same period in 2018.
- 20 Whistler residents signed up for secure biking under Whistler Public Library, up from 3 last season.
- Hundreds of people every day took to the Valley Trail to commute and get around.
Trips from passenger vehicles make up the majority of Whistler’s local greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions so the Resort Municipality of Whistler challenged residents to switch out at least one vehicle trip a week for a lower carbon mode of transportation to help reduce the percentage of our emissions from private passenger vehicles. The RMOW calculated that if every registered vehicle owner swapped one trip a week by vehicle for a lower carbon transportation mode just between May 1 and October 1, we could cut up to 600 tonnes of GHG emissions from Whistler’s climate footprint.
“I am inspired by the voices asking for climate action and I am inspired by those taking climate action. The Maytober Challenge was a great reminder that by making the choice to travel by bike, walk, take transit or carpool, we are helping Whistler reduce local greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution,” said Mayor Jack Crompton. “There are many factors that contribute to our community’s climate footprint and as a Council we are aware of the bigger picture when it comes to climate change and climate action, such as the need for a regional transportation system. What the Maytober Challenge does is raise awareness that we each have the ability to take direct action and help reduce Whistler’s GHGs. Continuing to reduce trips by private passenger vehicles will be an ongoing effort as part of our community’s goal to meet emissions reductions targets.”
This fall and winter, residents can keep the challenge going by continuing to choose lower carbon transportation when possible. If heading to the mountain, the Whistler Transit System gets skiers and boarders closer to the lifts than any parking options. Kids under 12 travel for free on Whistler Transit all year when with a paying adult. Purchasing a sheet of bus tickets, available at the Visitor Centre or Municipal Hall saves $0.25 per trip off the regular cash fare of $2.50. A 20 per cent discount on monthly transit passes is available for employees of Whistler businesses that participate in the Spirit Transit Pass Program.
The Whistler Transit System will be adding extra transit service for early winter on Saturday, November 16, 2019 with full winter service starting a full week early on Saturday December 7, 2019. For winter, the 10 Valley Express Route service has been increased by 50 percent, with five more northbound trips and three more southbound trips and extending service hours to 12 noon in the morning and extending evening service to 6:03 p.m. The 10 Valley Express was launched last winter with direct service from Function Junction/ Cheakamus Crossing to Emerald Estates. The route eliminates the need to transfer buses in the Village. The 2019/2020 Winter Rider’s Guide will be available in November at www.bctransit.com/whistler.
As well, 38 kilometres of the Valley Trail are snow-cleared during the winter with the exception of sections where tracks are set for cross country skiing. A map of the winter Valley Trail can be found here.
Pay parking returns to the Day Lots 4 and 5 on December 15 until April 15 at $5 per day/$30 for a monthly pass in Day Lots 4 and 5. Carpool passes are available for Lots 4 and 5 and allow multiple license plates to be registered under one pass. Only one vehicle per pass may park during pay parking periods. Pay parking is in effect all year for Lots 1 to 3 at $10 per day/ $50 for a monthly pass.
The Maytober Challenge will return next year to continue to encourage Whistler residents to make the switch to lower carbon transportation and help reduce our community’s climate footprint.