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Last chance to have your say on corridor-wide transit

BC Transit holds open house in Whistler

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Consultations on proposed Sea to Sky corridor-wide transit are about to come to a close.

Interested parties have until Mon., March 6 to share their thoughts on the project with BC Transit.

More details — including an online survey — can be found at www.bctransit.com/seatosky.

A public open house was held at the Whistler Public Library on Thurs., March 2.

The open house follows an initial round of public consultation that took place last year.

"It's been very exciting," said Lisa Trotter, BC Transit's senior regional transit manager, noting that 2,700 online surveys were filled out in the first round of consultation.

"We found out from that process a little bit about where people want to go, how often they're travelling the corridor, and we've also found out that there's definitely a keen interest in this project — both to relieve congestion on the highway and to just have other modes of transportation," Trotter said.

There are some high-level costs being associated with the project, but the true expense of expanding transportation from Mount Currie to the Lower Mainland won't be known until somewhere down the road.

"As we get further along in this process we'll develop schedules, and those schedules will tell us a little bit more about the frequency, so that's going to play into what the costs will be," Trotter said.

"These things are still to be determined through this phase of the public engagement, and ultimately what will happen is we'll put all of that into a report that will be delivered in the spring of 2017, that will go out to all the local governments and then that will be the basis for our decision making."

Decisions around funding mechanisms will ultimately lie with local governments, Trotter added.

"For us, it's really about providing the information," she said.

"So we'll do all the planning, we'll talk to the public, we'll make sure that we've got it right in terms of what we're hearing from the public, and then we'll start to put together plans around bus stops, around schedules, around some high-level costs for what that would look like, and then present that information in our report."

One idea being discussed by local governments is the implementation of a fuel tax — www.piquenewsmagazine.com/whistler/last-chance-to-have-your-say-on-corridor-wide-transit/Content?oid=3038047

One attendee to the open house, who declined to give her name, said she rides the bus all the time and the Whistler service is wonderful — she just hopes that whatever mechanism is put in place, it doesn't erode the local transit system.

" target="_blank"It was lovely when we had that service (from 2006 to 2011) and you could go down to Wal-Mart and you could go down to London Drugs and you could come back... I don't think it affected the local stuff," said the woman, a Whistler resident of 20 years.

The service would also help bring frontline staff from other communities such as Mount Currie, she added.

"It's the time for it, it's a matter of just organizing it and getting it done," she said.

Lil'wat Nation residents will be able to weigh in at an open house on Sat., March 4 at the Ullus Community Complex's Mezzanine Room from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m., while Pembertonians can do the same from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m. at the Pemberton and District Community Centre's Activity Room B.

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