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bus passes off

Bus cards revert to paper One step forward, two steps back They are popular with Whistler's bus riders, but the TripCards have been yanked from service by BC Transit. "They aren't performing as well as we'd like," says Linda Mannheim at Municipal Hall about the plastic trip cards. A decision to stop issuing the 30-day pass was made about a week ago, but the five and 20-day versions are being pulled, too. The cards will be back, however, when improved cards become available from a different manufacturer. Meanwhile, riders can buy the "old style" multi-trip passes in their paper format. A calendar monthly bus pass is being sold instead of the 30-day pass, a 20-trip sheet of tickets will replace the 20-trip card, and a five-trip sheet of tickets will replace the five-trip card. Prices are the same. The old format also had daily or weekly passes, but they won't be offered during this interim period, Mannheim says. While performance of the TripCard wasn't up to snuff, that it proved to be popular with riders is encouraging. "We haven't ground through the accounting, but the feedback we've had is that we had double the old pass sales," Mannheim says. There wasn't widespread pass failure, but there were enough bad seeds to warrant taking them off the market, Mannheim says. "Although a small number were defective, the majority were fine," Mannheim says. "But with the problems, we felt it would be prudent to go back to the drawing board." Cards tended not to be read by the scanner. "We gave it an honest try," Mannheim says of the six-week trial period. "We're disappointed but optimistic." Bus passes can be bought at municipal hall, the Whistler Conference Centre, The Grocery Store, Boot Beer & Wine Store, North Shore Credit Union, Whistler's One Hour Foto Source, Meadow Park Sports Centre, Mail Boxes Etc., 7-Eleven, Slalom 1-Hr Photo, and in Creekside at the Chamber of Commerce cabin.

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