Free transit weekends, parking rate increases planned for summer 2017 

No more free parking in day lots during peak seasons

click to enlarge FILE PHOTO COURTESY OF BC TRANSIT - CHANGES AFOOT Increased service and free summer weekends are just some of the changes recommended in an upcoming report to council. An information session on the changes is planned for Tues., May 23 at the Maury Young Arts Centre.
  • File photo courtesy of BC Transit
  • CHANGES AFOOT Increased service and free summer weekends are just some of the changes recommended in an upcoming report to council. An information session on the changes is planned for Tues., May 23 at the Maury Young Arts Centre.

Changes are coming to transit and parking in Whistler.

A report to council at the May 23 meeting will outline recommended 2017 actions in five areas: Highway 99 Efficiencies; Transit Improvements; Peak Day Operations; Better Parking Management and; Preferred Transportation Modes.

The report recommends increases to parking rates in Day Lots 1, 2 and 3, as well as the Whistler Library and Conference Centre lots.

If approved by council, starting July 1 the new rates for Lots 1-3 will be $10 daily (up from $8) and $50 monthly (up from $30), with a maximum stay of 24 hours.

A discounted rate of $5 daily and $30 monthly for residents and employees is recommended for lots 4 and 5 during peak seasons (July 1 to Sept. 4 and Dec. 15 to Apr. 15).

Day Lots 1 to 5 will still be free after 5 p.m., and lots 4 and 5 will be free in shoulder seasons.

Village surface lots will be free until 10 a.m., and hourly rates for Village lots will stay at $1 for the first hour and $2 for the second.

On the transit side of things, there will be more free transit this summer (Saturday, Sunday and holiday Mondays, from Canada Day until Labour Day), cheaper bus passes (from $65/month to $50), increased service to the tune of 1,750 more hours, and secure bicycle parking in Whistler Village.

A queue jumper for BC Transit busses to bypass congestion at Creekside will also be piloted this summer.

Other recommendations in the report:

-Highway 99 Efficiencies: Studies on closures related to accident investigations, highway intersections and a review of Highway 99 capacity (being undertaken by the province, the review will look at additional lanes, intersection upgrades and more).

-Transit Improvements: Free transit on 10 summer weekends; more service where it's needed most; parking revenue used to reduce cost of transit passes and pay for free weekends; expansion of the Family Travel program to include any fare-paying adult between May 1 and October 31. The program currently allows an adult with a transit pass (one day, or one, six or 12 month) to bring up to three children (aged 12 and under) for free.

-Peak Day Operations: Parking personnel will be used for special events to help with traffic flow in and put of parking lots; secure bicycle parking during summer events; promotion of alternative parking locations, including the launch of a parking app to be used during busy seasons.

-Better Parking Management: Changeable message boards to help visitors find available parking; a car counter and message board at the Conference Centre underground lot to let people know when the lot is nearing capacity

-Preferred Transportation: Completion of the Gateway Loop enhancement to help with regional bus traffic; support for increased car share offerings; improving Valley Trail linkages

An information session outlining the planned changes is scheduled for Tues., May 23 from 4 to 5:30 p.m. at the Maury Young Arts Centre.

More details can be found at www.whistler.ca/movingwhistler.

Pick up next week's Pique for the full story.

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