What it's about
Moving people and goods to, from and within Whistler.
Moving people and goods to, from and within Whistler.
Whistler’s transportation system is integral to the livability and success of Whistler as a resort community. Whistler’s transportation system efficiently and affordably moves people and products to, from and within Whistler, while delivering a high quality experience and minimizing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and negative impacts on natural areas. Whistler residents and visitors walk, cycle and use public transit, supported by excellent transportation infrastructure oriented to these methods of travel. Whistler also keeps current with transportation-related technology innovations. As a result, residents and visitors of all ages and abilities increasingly choose preferred modes of transportation over single occupancy vehicle trips.
Whistler’s local transit system continues to deliver a safe, convenient, accessible and reliable transit service appropriate for our climate, culture and economy. Our transit system is efficient and cost-effective, while maintaining affordability and the highest possible customer satisfaction. With a wide range and frequency of regional bus services, travel to Vancouver and beyond also meets these standards.
Our road system is safe for all users, all the way from Highway 99 to our neighbourhood streets. The Valley Trail and other trail connections provide a safe and convenient system for active transportation throughout the whole community.
Whistler relies on efficient transportation infrastructure to transport people and products to, from and within the resort community. Initiatives have been undertaken to promote shifts to preferred, non-automobile modes of transportation to help alleviate current traffic and parking congestion within Whistler and reduce GHG emissions. Highway 99, the municipal road network, transit infrastructure, the Valley Trail system and pedestrian and bicycle networks are regularly upgraded to ensure people have many options for travelling in Whistler. This infrastructure is shown in Schedules E1 and E3.
Whistler has relatively high participation in preferred methods of travel including walking, cycling, transit and carpooling. The Whistler Transit System is one of the top-performing systems in British Columbia, experiencing among the highest ridership in the province. However, with a growing year-round population and more visitors, Whistler has faced increasing transportation challenges in recent years, including traffic congestion on Highway 99, difficulty finding parking, crowded transit buses and delays in responding to highway accidents. To address these challenges and improve the performance of the transportation system, Whistler’s Transportation Advisory Group developed Whistler’s Transportation Action Plan that will guide transportation solutions in the years to come.
Click the 'Objectives & Policies' to display additional content.11.1. Goal Provide a quality travel experience for all visitors, employees and residents, and promote a culture of safety and accessibility for pedestrians, cyclists and motorists.
Maintain and improve safety on Highway 99 to and from Whistler and on all roads within Whistler.
Collaborate with the provincial government to maintain and enhance the safety and reliability of Highway 99 in all areas, including effective snow clearing and removal, access management, active transportation, land use, pollution (noise and environmental) and environmental impacts.
Work with resort community stakeholders to promote road safety with residents and visitors.
Reduce conflicts between all types of users, including pedestrians, cyclists, persons with disabilities and other forms of active and personal transportation.
Incorporate appropriate transit infrastructure and traffic-calming measures that improve livability and safety when reconstructing existing roads or developing new roadways in accordance with the Municipal Traffic Calming Policy.
Improve wayfinding for all modes of transportation.
Require all new developments and road infrastructure to comply with provincial and municipal emergency response (fire, ambulance, police) regulations and guidelines.
Continually improve the accessibility of the transportation system.
Establish routes for all modes of local travel between neighbourhoods away from Highway 99, where viable, to reduce congestion and improve safety on Highway 99.
Recognizing that Highway 99 is considered a Controlled Access Highway by the Province and a key piece of roadway infrastructure within Whistler, work with the provincial government to improve access to Highway 99 from the local road network, including at unsignalized intersections, in a way that minimizes delays and congestion.
Work with the provincial government to ensure that the regional uses of the highway are compatible with local priorities.
Maintain roads and priority sections of the Valley Trail for year-round use.
Support the development of cost-effective facilities that centralize multi-modal transportation within Whistler Village and Whistler Creek.
Eliminate barriers to those with mobility challenges through the design of transportation infrastructure, such as sidewalk curbs, intersections and parking lots.
During construction and maintenance activities, ensure the needs of pedestrians, cyclists and those with mobility challenges are given equal consideration to the needs of those using motor vehicles.
Improve the physical environment for everyone using the transportation system.
Prioritize the preferred modes of transportation in the following order to achieve a balanced transportation system:
Ensure convenient, safe and accessible infrastructure for those using preferred modes of transportation.
Minimize removal of vegetation and natural features when implementing changes in transportation infrastructure.
Collaborate with the provincial government to enhance the character of Highway 99, so that the approach to Whistler is as vibrant and unique as Whistler itself.
Manage parking in designated parking areas throughout the resort community to ensure adequate availability of parking that supports Whistler’s transportation goals.
Support compact and higher density development in proximity to existing commercial services, transit stops and the Valley Trail, and provide sufficient transit frequency to higher density residential areas.
Plan and design neighbourhoods for location efficient living, working and playing.
Ensure that new housing developments consider proximity to existing commercial services, existing and proposed transit routes, and the Valley Trail.
Develop and acquire pedestrian and bicycle connections within and through neighbourhoods where possible.
Strive to include commercial services when planning residential developments to increase walkability and reduce the need to travel by automobile.
Maximize the number of visiting skiers who are able to stay within convenient walking distance of the ski lifts.
Plan developments and renovations to maximize the number of ski-in/ out trails.
Plan ski lift staging areas to minimize skier walking distances.
Support new technologies that reduce GHG emissions.
Support innovative technological advances in transportation that reduce GHG emissions and are appropriate to Whistler’s climate.
Encourage increased use of more fuel-efficient private and public vehicles.
Support technology that promotes more efficient transportation choices.
Give priority to walking, cycling, transit and other preferred modes over the single occupant vehicle and private automobile.
Work with the provincial government to encourage and support preferred modes of transportation in the Highway 99 corridor.
Strive to make preferred modes of transportation affordable, convenient, safe and enjoyable throughout the year.
Encourage residents and visitors to shift from private motor vehicles to preferred modes of transportation through incentives, removal of hidden subsidies, education and awareness.
Maintain a trail network throughout the valley, as shown in Schedules E1, E2 and E3, that encourages year-round use of preferred modes of transportation.
Implement the recommendations of the Whistler Transportation Cycling Plan and the Whistler Recreational Cycling Plan in the development of the pedestrian and bicycle network on a prioritized basis.
Encourage and support the development of infrastructure required for passenger arrival and departure using preferred modes of transportation to and from the resort community.
Support car-sharing opportunities.
When new transportation funding sources become available, use them to support preferred modes of transportation.
Make public transit affordable, convenient, safe and enjoyable throughout the year.
Continue to operate a successful and accessible transit system in collaboration with funding and operating partners, expanding service area coverage and frequency as demand and resources permit as shown on the Whistler Future Local Transit Network Map in the Transit Future Plan Sea to Sky.
Work with the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure and BC Transit to create opportunities to prioritize transit vehicles over general-purpose traffic.
Implement the recommendations of the Sea to Sky Transit Future Plan that are related to the Whistler Transit System and the Regional/Interregional Transit System.
Work with BC Transit to continuously improve customer information.
Work with public and private land owners to provide safe pedestrian routes to all transit stops in all neighbourhoods.
Work with the provincial government and local stakeholders to improve transit frequency and affordability.
Implement transportation demand management strategies to ensure the transportation system can meet the resort’s needs cost-effectively.
Continue to monitor and implement the Transportation Advisory Group Whistler Transportation Action Plan 2018-2028 and work with resort businesses to ensure parking demand can be accommodated by the existing parking infrastructure.
Shift travel demand away from critically congested links during peak periods.
Shift discretionary travel to off-peak times to reduce peak period congestion.
Explore strategies to enable more efficient movement of goods to, from and within Whistler.
Continue to regularly review transit demand and plan for local and regional service, infrastructure upgrades and facility expansions when appropriate.
Maintain and construct infrastructure to ensure the transportation system can meet the resort’s needs cost-effectively.
Design the road network to accommodate winter and summer average peak period conditions at reasonable levels of service to users.
Provide for the efficient delivery of goods to activity centres.
Work with BC Transit and the Ministry of Transportation and Infrastructure to implement a regional transit system.
Consider the creation of future satellite skier parking areas at the periphery of the resort community to help preserve economic viability and positive visitor experiences.
Monitor and evaluate impacts of new transportation technologies and services on the resort experience, environment, community livability and safety.
Plan and design new transportation facilities (and improvements to existing facilities) to fit with the natural landscape and enhance, rather than compromise, visitors’ experience.
Work collaboratively with all transportation partners (including First Nations, public and private stakeholders) to monitor and improve local and regional transportation.
Work with the provincial government, regional stakeholders, BC Transit, Lil’wat Nation, Squamish Nation and private sector to develop an accessible, frequent and affordable regional/interregional transit service that meets the travel needs of Sea to Sky residents and employees.
Work with the provincial government, passenger carriers and regional stakeholders to maintain and enhance year-round regional/interregional public transportation for visitors.
Seek cost-sharing opportunities with senior levels of government, stakeholders and other partners when possible for the transportation system.
Work with the railway companies and government regulators to review and where required improve the safety, accessibility and affordability of railway crossings (roads and the Valley Trail) within the resort community.
Work with transportation partners to provide alternative transportation routes and services, including for movement of goods.
Continue to encourage the provincial government and private sector to pursue the return of higher-volume affordable and more frequent passenger rail service to Whistler and to continue to maintain space, including through the purchasing of land, for future stations and other rail passenger and freight infrastructure compatible with the return of this service.
Maintain space, including through the purchasing of land, for future opportunities that would allow movement of products by rail to Whistler.
Support the continued operation of the existing float plane site at Green Lake to concentrate float plane activity at this location in cooperation with Transport Canada, the aviation community and the provincial government as the issuer of Crown land tenure, but discourage any additional locations for these same services.
Maintain ownership/leasehold of the Municipal Heliport and continue to work with the Whistler Heliport Society to concentrate helicopter activity at this location, as a means of protecting the community from noise and other helicopter traffic impacts.
Build, maintain and monitor transportation infrastructure, services and operations that do not negatively impact the natural environment.
Minimize impact on natural and environmentally sensitive areas from improvements to or maintenance of the transportation system.
Discourage further commercial and private helicopter or aircraft facilities within the developed areas of Whistler, particularly Whistler Village and Whistler Creek.
Work with transport operators and the federal and provincial governments to enforce vehicle emission and noise regulations, and support initiatives to introduce stricter regulations leveraging advances in motor vehicle technology.
Continue to prohibit motor vehicles (as defined by the Motor Vehicle Act) from all pedestrian areas, the Valley Trail network and parks.
Minimize the impact of transportation systems on areas with social, environmental, recreational, historic, archeological or cultural significance.
Maintain and enforce an anti-idling policy throughout the resort community.
Build and maintain transportation infrastructure and services that positively impact community livability.
Ensure that the development of a safe local network road system, as shown in Schedule E3, minimizes negative impacts on neighbourhoods, subdivisions or other developed areas.
Use leading practices and technical standards for designing sustainable neighbourhood road network infrastructure.
Avoid road modifications that compromise Whistler’s livability, attractiveness or economic viability.