Labour Day marks the final weekend of pay parking in Day Lots 4 and 5 and free summer transit for the season, all part of an effort by the municipality to encourage “sustainable ways of getting around Whistler," according to a release.
Monday, Sept. 4 is the final day for free weekend transit and the free Lost Lake Shuttle, as well as pay parking in lots 4 and 5 — for now. Pay parking is slated to return Dec. 15, 2017 until April 15, 2018.
August resident-employee parking passes will remain valid in the lots until Sept. 4.
Part of the impetus for introducing pay parking, a decision that was met with fierce backlash from much of the public when it was announced in June, was as a means for the Resort Municipality of Whistler (RMOW) to generate funding for expanded transit and cycling services. The price of a monthly adult bus pass, for instance, has decreased from $65 to $50 thanks to the additional revenue brought in from pay parking.
Among the transportation initiatives slated to roll out later this year are an expanded winter transit schedule, a Transit Spirit Pass, and a carpool program for Lots 4 and 5, according to the RMOW.
“Our actions to improve transportation in Whistler are focused directly on promoting our quality of life, visitor experience and long-term success,” said Mayor Nancy Wilhelm-Morden in the release. “Whistler has committed to a Community Energy and Climate Action Plan with a goal of reducing our overall climate footprint while sustainable managing growth in Whistler. Our focus as Council has always been to ensure Whistler remains a thriving mountain resort community by addressing issues in a thoughtful and proactive manner.”
The municipal Transportation Advisory Group (TAG) is set to meet this month to review results from this summer’s transportation program and consider future plans. The RMOW said the early numbers seem to indicate the free transit initiative was “even more popular than last year, with additional buses needing to be added during event weekends.”
Residents will have a chance to share their feedback at a community transportation forum in November that will follow a TAG presentation to council sometime this fall.
More information about the RMOW’s transportation and climate change initiatives can be found at whistler.ca.