First of all I would like to say congratulations to the locals, volunteers and people of Whistler for putting on an amazingly successful Olympic Winter Games. Your hard work, patience and true Whistler spirit will be echoed all around the world for years to come.
I, however, was one of the many to leave town for something else and rented my place to a volunteer (for a price less than the rent I currently pay - how many people can actually say that?).
Upon my return I have heard amazing stories of how this event has changed our lives and the people that make this town work. As a Pemberton resident, I heard stories of the greatest addition this town has ever seen: reliable and frequent transit to Whistler. A bus every 10 minutes that pretty much every Pembertonian rode into and out of Whistler.
Now given that a bus every 10 minutes isn't exactly a full-time affordable option, maybe one every hour or two is.
Let's take a look at how we could offset these costs, hypothetically.
We have a fantastic new paved day lot that unfortunately we are going to have to pay for very soon. Now, given that I spend $300 a month in gas just to get to work in Whistler, I am going to be faced with a pay-parking problem.
Here are some "ballpark" figures to bring some light to the situation. The day lots cost the municipality $600,000 to pave. In the winter it will cost $8/day to park; $12/day in the summer. Now, let's just say on average $10/day times the amount of parking spaces (750 or so...). That would generate $7,500 a day in revenue. Multiply that figure by 365 days a year and that pay parking would generate approx $2.7 million in one year. By my calculations, that would pay off the cost of paving, and then some.
Subtract the maintenance costs and whatever else there is, and there would still be money left over. Imagine if some of that money was allocated into the transit system to put one bus per hour on the road to Pemberton during peak times...
Now that the Pemberton locals have had a taste for transit, and how much more efficient it is, I can almost guarantee that one bus to and from Pemberton every hour for, say, 14 hours a day would be easily attainable. And it would save the Pemberton local working in Whistler a whack of cash.
Pemberton was supposed to have an Olympic legacy, yet we did not get one.... The locals in this town are constantly finding themselves on the losing end of a place they once cherished. Families are no longer able to raise children here, people are falling further into the red just trying to make it work.