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Missing the bus

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Missing the bus

If you use transit to visit Squamish for shopping, to use government or medical services or to attend university, your ride is over. On Sept. 21, Whistler Council passed a motion that would see from three to five of the eight daily trips cut. The resolution: "That Council authorize staff to initiate an immediate service review with a goal to optimize service and reduce costs starting with the winter 2010/2011 service." In its Report to Council, staff suggested keeping only those trips leaving Squamish early in the morning and those returning to Squamish in the late afternoon. There will be no day trips from Whistler.

About 25 per cent of riders currently travelling between Whistler and Squamish live in Whistler. This number has slowly grown even though the service is not advertised and information is not easily found.

Nearly three years ago Whistler staff were directed by council "to make service level adjustments to the Squamish-Whistler Commuter based on ridership observations." For nearly three years they did nothing. In a panicked effort to cut costs they have now raised fares as of Nov. 1 and are looking to remove the trips that serve people in Whistler.

If you have used this service or planned to use it you may be too late. Contact the mayor and council. Bring it up with your employer. Talk to your friends and co-workers. Many of the perceived problems with this service are the result of negligence, poor schedules and a failure to understand who uses the bus and why. Elimination of service and alienation of customers is not the way to build a sustainable future.

Murray Gamble

Squamish

 

Valued friends

Canadian Thanksgiving weekend in Whistler means more than turkey and pumpkin pie if you are a "Friend of the Whistler Public Library" (FOWPL)! It is the time to take part in one of the major fundraising events of the year. "Friends" rally with great vigor and enthusiasm to assist with the semi-annual Used Book Sale which takes place outside the IGA. This year was no exception with over $4,700 raised by this much-valued group of community volunteers.

As the Chair of the Whistler Public Library (WPL) I would like to thank all our amazing volunteers and take a little time to tell you about "The Friends," a special group of dedicated individuals who raise funds for the library and also encourage volunteers to become involved in the myriad ways that one can support the WPL.

The Canadian National Association of Friends of Public Libraries was launched in 1998 and is the overall umbrella association for Friends groups across the country. They are available to assist any library with the setting up of a Friends group. The Association offers workshops with trained volunteers who will come to your community to work with a Friends group. A volunteer board from across Canada offers insight into Friends activities.

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