By Alison Taylor
The Squamish-Whistler commuter bus is scheduled to return for
daily runs beginning Nov. 23.
As in the past two years, Whistler council has committed to
funding 50 per cent of the bus service, with the remainder to be funded by the
District of Squamish. The service costs roughly $150,000 for the five months of
B.C. Transit is still unable to contribute money because its
funding has been frozen for the past several years. However, it does provide
On Monday night, Mayor Ken Melamed did not mince his words on
the province’s decision to freeze funding.
“Freezing transit funding is one of the worst betrayals of
British Columbians,” he said, placing the blame with the Treasury Board, the Minister
of Finance and the Minister of Transportation.
Not only does it go against efforts to reduce greenhouse gas
emissions, Melamed said, it also hampers the corridor’s ability to create a
regional transit system that could stretch from Lions Bay to Pemberton.
With four round trips a day, the commuter service has become a
popular choice for Squamish residents commuting to Whistler for work.
Despite its popularity, there is no guarantee from year to year
that there will be money to fund the service.
According to surveys, the majority of people riding the bus are
hotel workers and their major complaint about the system was overcrowding.
Emma DalSanto, municipal transportation demand management
coordinator, said they are investigating bringing in buses with more seats this
She presented a plaque to council Monday for exceptional
performance and outstanding achievement from the Canadian Urban Transit
Association in recognition of the commuter service.
This year the service will run from Nov. 23 to April 22.
Cross-country prices going up
Cross-country skiers will need to pay a little more this year
to enjoy the groomed trails around Lost Lake.
Day tickets will jump from $10 to $15, while the adult season’s
pass will increase from $170 to $210.
Even though the change to the daily rate represents a 50 per
cent increase, it is “somewhat below what the other resorts are offering this
year,” explained Roger Weetman, the municipality’s manager of program services.