From May to October, the RMOW challenges residents to switch out one private passenger vehicle trip each week for a lower-carbon transportation choice such as walking, transit, biking or carpooling to take action on our community's climate footprint.
Emissions from private passenger vehicles make up the largest part of Whistler’s community carbon footprint – at 57 percent. If every registered vehicle owner made one less trip by car every week from May 1 to October 1, the RMOW calculates this would cut 600 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions locally in Whistler.
Making the switch
The RMOW has programs and infrastructure in place to make it easier than ever to choose a lower carbon transportation option. These include:
- Free transit on weekends and holidays from June 15 to September 3, 2019.
- The new Valley 10 Express Route that runs from Emerald Estates to Cheakamus Crossing/ Function Junction.
- Kids ride the bus for free (all year).
- The NextRide website for real-time bus arrival tracking on your phone or computer.
- Park for free at Creekside underground parking and catch a free weekend bus (June 15 to September 3, 2019).
- Free bike valet service at events all summer.
- Secure bike storage at Whistler Public Library.
- 40 kilometres of paved, car-free travel on the Valley Trail system.
- Carpool parking passes for Day Lots 4 and 5.
Learn more about Whistler's transportation goals and planning at Moving Whistler.
Trimming Whistler's climate footprint
The RMOW regularly tracks community emissions and monitors our progress towards reducing its climate footprint. The municipality is a signatory of the BC Climate Action Charter and has committed to a 33 per cent reduction in community-wide GHG emissions by 2020; 80 per cent by 2050 and 90 per cent by 2060.
Climate change is an issue Whistler must take action on. Modelling shows that over the next 25-55 years, Whistler will experience more intense, frequent rain events, longer, hotter, drier summers and milder winters. The RMOW is taking steps to adapt to our changing climate but recognizes we also need to act locally to reduce our climate footprint.
Whistler has a Community Energy and Climate Action Plan (CECAP) to identify where our emissions come from and ways to reduce them. Because heating makes up the second-largest share of Whistler’s climate footprint (after passenger vehicle trips within Whistler), we have worked to build energy efficient buildings such as the Whistler Public Library, Whistler Passiv Haus, a proposed new energy-efficient employee housing building for Cheakamus Crossing and upgrading existing facilities like Meadow Park Sports Centre to become more energy efficient. Whistler is also working to implement the new BC Energy Step Code which will provide an incremental and consistent approach to achieve energy-efficient construction. The RMOW is also working with our neighbouring communities on developing a proposed regional transit plan.