Pemberton-Whistler bus service to expand 

The Squamish-Lillooet Regional District Board has voted to expand the Pemberton-Whistler transit service by adding an extra run at 6:15 p.m.

The additional net cost of $4,000 will be borne by Whistler-Blackcomb.

The expansion will, however, need to be approved by B.C. Transit as well as the service participants, including Pemberton, Mount Currie and Electoral Area C.

SLRD administrator Rick Beauchamp told the board that the transit service has been well received and is already exceeding ridership projections.

"We have received petitions requesting expansion of the service," noted Beauchamp.

"The transit is certainly a success story. Our residents appreciate it," said Area C director Susan Gimse.

Squamish councillor and SLRD director Paul Lalli noted a number of Squamish residents are now asking for a similar transit connection with Whistler. He said the District of Squamish has written to B.C. Transit requesting consideration for service but he noted it would come down to funding at the end of the day.

The cost of the service between Mount Currie, Pemberton and Whistler is shared by those three communities and electoral Area C. Mount Currie carries 58 per cent of the ongoing costs, Pemberton 28 per cent and Area C 14 per cent. Monthly payments are paid to the SLRD on the 15 th of each month. It is estimated the net costs of the expanded service will be $15,000 but an additional $11,000 is anticipated in revenue. Whistler-Blackcomb has agreed to fund the $4,000 shortfall.

The mountains had already given a $12,000 contribution for the first two years of operation, amounting to $8,000 for 2000 and $4,000 for 2001.

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