Transit in Whistler will receive a boost over the next three years, following council’s approval of a proposed service expansion by BC Transit.
Between 2017 and 2019, a total of 8,250 extra hours and three new buses may be added to the Whistler Transit System, providing enhanced bus service to commuters throughout the Whistler valley.
Specifically the expansion will see:
- 750 extra hours added in 2017/2018
- 6,500 extra hours and three buses are proposed to be added in 2018/2019
- 1,000 extra hours added in 2019/2020
“The increased service hours and fleet expansion will go a long way in allowing residents and visitors to travel more easily throughout Whistler without relying on vehicles,” said Whistler Mayor Nancy Wilhelm-Morden. “The proposed expansion is being carefully undertaken with a thorough review by key players in the resort municipality to ensure the additional service provides the highest value to our community.”
The proposed expansion builds off recommendations in BC Transit’s Sea to Sky Transit Future Plan, completed in early 2016, that will guide transit in the region over the next 25 years.
The Resort Municipality of Whistler’s (RMOW) share of costs for the proposed expansion are estimated at $45,000 for 2017/2018, $560,000 for 2018/2019 and $56,000 for 2019/2020. Costs are expected to be mitigated through the additional revenues from the increased service hours and exploring alternative sources of funding.
Sea to Sky Transit Corridor Study
In addition to the proposed expansion, the RMOW will also be participating in BC Transit’s Sea to Sky Transit Corridor Study.
The study will look at the feasibility of expanding regional and inter-regional transit service from Metro Vancouver through Mount Currie.
Key objectives include:
- Understand transit ridership potential between key origins and destinations
- Develop and recommend transit service options, including identifying associated hours and costs along with recommendations on priorities and phasing.
- Develop and explore possible governance and funding structure changes for regional and interregional transit service in the Sea to Sky region
- Review fare options and provide fare strategies which could be considered for any new connecting services.
The study is expected to lead to an implementation action plan in 2017 and involve a public consultation component.