Letters to the editor 

If a tree falls in the Village...

Page 3 of 8

I'm sure that they have no idea how strongly the community feels about this matter, or someone on council would have taken a stand to protect old growth on the basis that these trees are far more valuable standing where they are than being cut down for a one time pay out.

Regardless of how environmentally sensitive you feel your logging practises are, it doesn't negate the reality that the removal of old growth is irreversible and permanent.

This issue could become their HST. Maybe they should ask Gordon Campbell how that worked out for him?

Melonie Morris

Whistler

 

Politicians need to make commuter bus work

The Squamish-Lillooet Regional District met in October to discuss the possibility of regional transit connecting everyone betweeen Lillooet and the Lower Mainland. Research shows reports and studies supporting regional transit going back two decades.

There have been requests for commuter service to Metro Vancouver. Lillooet wants a link to the Sea to Sky or Kamloops or both. People in Pemberton and Whistler need access to services in Squamish. There are cries for more transit in Squamish. At the southern end of our neighbourhood is the Lions Gate Bridge. The northern end crosses the Bridge of 23 Camels.

Parallel to Highway 99 is the track that once carried the BC Rail passenger train. The southern terminal was in an industrial area on the North Vancouver waterfront. That's not the end of the track though. It continues east, through the bus loop at the Sea-Bus Terminal.

We have two fledgling transit services which could grow to become a Regional Transit service; #99 between Pemberton and Whistler and #98 between Squamish and Whistler.

The bus between Whistler and Squamish carries commuters from Squamish. It also carries hundreds of people from Whistler each month. A few use it daily. A few more use it one or two times each week. Hundreds of people use it from time to time to shop, use medical or government services, attend university or enjoy a change of scenery.

For nearly three years, no one was in charge of this service. No one noticed that 25 per cent of the riders live in Whistler. No one adjusted schedules that don't work for commuters. No one adjusted fares. No one noticed or advised anyone that costs had exceeded the budget by over 250 per cent. Councils in Squamish and Whistler didn't have anyone offering oversight to this fledgling, experimental service.

Whistler Council panicked. Recent 60 per cent fare increases, threatened service cuts and no schedule improvements could mean the loss of this service. At the moment BC Transit pays about 47 per cent. Squamish and Whistler split the rest. Whistler wants to stop its contribution at the end of December, denying that the service is used by people in Whistler.

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