Personal transportation is Whistler’s biggest source of greenhouse gas emissions. In fact emissions from private passenger vehicle trips within Whistler make up 57 per cent of Whistler’s carbon footprint. Together, let’s work together to get everyone around Whistler through low emitting methods of transportation.
What we are doing
The RMOW is working on a large range of initiatives to get people out of fossil fuel burning vehicles, from improving transit, expanding the Valley Trail, increasing the electric vehicle charging network, to encouraging e-bike use.
Recent initiatives include:
EV charging network. The RMOW received federal funding to substantially increase Whistler’s electric vehicle (EV) charging network. This grant will bring 14 new charging stations to the Day Lot Parking areas (Lot 1, 2, 4) as well as the Conference Parking Lot. These strategic parking areas were chosen as the best locations for EV use within the community. The intent is to make them accessible for locals and enable tourists to choose EVs when travelling to Whistler. Learn more about EV charging in Whistler.
Improving transit access and affordability. Whistler has been bucking the trend of declining transit ridership across much of North America. In fact, from 2015 to 2019, Whistler’s transit system has grown from carrying 2.5 million passengers per year to 3.1 million. Whistler has plans to methodically add more service hours annually through 2023. At the same time, Whistler is focused to ensure transit remains affordable. In January 2020, a pilot project for free transit for Whistler high school was implemented. Learn more.
Lower carbon buses. The RMOW worked with BC Transit to transition from a diesel fleet of buses to 100 per cent compressed natural gas (CNG ) fueled fleet in 2018. Whistler is working with BC Transit to use more renewable natural gas (RNG) in the short-term and be increasingly transitioned to an electric fleet over the medium-term as outlined in the recently published BC Transit Low Carbon Fleet Program.
E-bike draft policy. Whistler Council recently supported a draft policy for e-bikes. The policy now allows e-bikes on areas including the Valley Trail, making it easier for people to choose a non-petroleum based way to travel throughout Whistler. Learn more.
Learn more about how the RMOW is working to enhance transportation in Whistler, including encouraging clean and active transportation.
Travel by bike or e-bike. An e-bike produces roughly 1/6000th of the greenhouse gas emissions compared to a car. That means if you work 200 days a year for 30 years, you will emit the same greenhouse gas over your career commuting with an e-bike compared to just one day with a car. The RMOW introduced a draft e-bike policy that allows for the responsible use of Class 1 pedal-assisted e-bikes on the Valley Trail. Class 2 and 3 e-bikes are allowed on roads and the highway. Learn more about e-bikes.
Drive a smaller car. Trucks and full-sized SUVs often use twice as much fuel compared to cars. The global shift to SUVs and trucks is the second largest source of increasing carbon emissions and more than the heavy industry, aviation and trucking sectors. To learn more about vehicle fuel efficiency and carbon pollution, check out Natural Resources Canada’s Fuel Consumption Guide.
Switch to an electric vehicle. Technology improvements mean electric vehicles (EVs) are not as expensive as you think. Electricity costs are only 15-25% of fuel costs, and maintenance costs are lower too. Over the lifecycle of the car, EVs can break even. And the cost of an EV with a range above 400 km is also becoming more affordable. Interested in switching? There are federal and provincial incentives for up to $14,000, as well as $700 for home chargers. Learn more.
Travel around Whistler by bus. Switching a 10-kilometre commute from car to transit could reduce your carbon footprint by 1500 pounds a year. What’s more, travelling by bus will become even cleaner in the future, thanks to BC Transit’s initiative to move towards a fully electric provincial fleet. Learn more.
Carpool. The cost of driving a single-occupancy vehicle goes far beyond the impact on your wallet. Requiring 4,000 pounds of steel to move one person adds more greenhouse gases to the environment and degrades transport infrastructure. Learn more about Whistler’s carpool parking pass.