Telltale signs that winter is coming are everywhere - the Turkey Sale, hordes of young people weighted down by luggage arriving from all over the world and buses slowly reaching capacity as they near the village as hundreds of residents decide that it's finally too cold and/or dark to bike to work.
Help is on the way. Starting on Oct. 17 Whistler Transit will reintroduce the Creekside Express bus with limited service between Creekside and Whistler Village during peak hours. The new schedule will be posted online at www.busonline.ca.
Winter operations are scheduled to get underway on opening day for Whistler Blackcomb, Nov. 26, although it could be earlier.
"There will be a second ramp-up of service when the mountains open," explained municipal traffic demand management coordinator Emma DalSanto. "Right now it is scheduled for Nov. 26... official opening day. I have put B.C. Transit and Whistler Transit on notice that we may need to start this ramped-up service even earlier if we get enough snow to open the mountains early."
The full winter schedule is still being finalized, but all routes will see more regular service after a third ramp-up of service, likely sometime in December.
The Village Shuttle will also see an increase with an earlier start time to get people to the mountains. There will also be additional Creekside Express service compared to previous years.
The enhanced Olympic service is scheduled to run from Feb. 1 to 28, 2010, with 135 buses in operation 24 hours a day within Whistler, and between Whistler and Squamish as well as Whistler and Pemberton.
Currently 39 buses serve Whistler and commuter routes at peak periods.