BC Transit will launch a feasibility study this Spring into a proposed commuter link between Squamish and Whistler, but it says any new transport services are unlikely before April 2002.
The idea of public commuter links between the two centres has gathered momentum in the past few months since the successful establishment of daily bus services between Pemberton and Whistler. BC Transit marketing and communications manager Chris Foord says the study will examine all transport possibilities, not just bus links.
"We have to assess the demand and options such as ride sharing, van pooling and bike racks because no single mode of transport will turn back the traffic clock, and a combination could be the best way to reduce road use volumes," Foord said.
BC Transit announced earlier this week that it had approved extra funding for bike racks on new buses in communities that actively support cycling. The authority will be sharing the cost with participating municipalities. Whistler buses have been equipped with racks for several years.
Foord says theres no extra funding available in the 2002 budget for a proposed Squamish-Whistler route unless it comes from unexpected sources, such as a drop in gas prices. However, he says its well recognized that good transport solutions are needed.
"There have been tremendous travel pattern changes in the past 20 years," he says. "There has never been as many cars on the road as today and tomorrow will be worse."
Foord says planning staff will complete the study in time for next years budget considerations.