Council Mulls Revival of Squamish-Whistler Commuter Bus

At the public service standing committee on March 8, councilors discussed the possibility of reviving the Squamish-Whistler transit bus.

Coun. Susan Chappelle brought forward the motion asking the Mayor write a letter to Whistler council to discuss reinstating the regional transit between the two communities. The bus service was discontinued a few years ago for lack of funding.

“I’d like to revisit the Squamish-Whistler bus service. We have a lot of people working in Whistler and we can also improve our tourists’ visits if we can provide this regional transit,” she said.

Recently, the province announced it will provide $324 million to BC Transit over the next three years and staff informed the council on how those expansion plans will help the transit users.

Next year the district could look at a south seasonal park transit service, which could extend the service to the Sea to Sky Gondola. Another option would be to increase the Sunday and the Holiday service.

Coun. Doug Race said it’d make a lot of sense to extend the seasonal bus service to the Gondola as it’s a popular tourist attraction.

“It’d make a lot of sense to extend the service as we can’t deny that it’s a popular attraction and with other development that happens down there, I don’t want to lose that completely,” he said.

Chapelle, however, said transit to the northern section of the town and to areas such as Brennan Park should be strengthened, rather than extending the bus to a popular but a commercial tourist activity. In 2018, the expansion plan include an increased service to Garibaldi Village, Quest University, HandiDart expansion and possible service to Vancouver.

In 2013, the district made new changes which included extended hours of service, Sunday and holiday service, as well as a new commuter route added from Tantalus Road to downtown.