Thursday, January 21, 2010

Transit Prices Sky-rocket Just In Time For The Games

According to the Vancouver Sun, it is believed that the Sky-to-Sky bus trip cost will double, and the Whistler Village shuttle is going to start charging a fee. So, how will this affect us? Well, commuters, residents, and tourists travelling between Squamish and Whistler will now see daily cash bus fares double during the Winter Games. By raising prices, BC Transit aims to cover the costs of its expanded transit services during the Olympics.

A one-way trip from Squamish to Whistler will increase from $5 to $10, while the cash fare from Pemberton to Whistler will rise from $3 to $6. Guess what? It doesn't stop there. Once the persons get to Whistler, travellers will have to pay an additional $2 to use the village shuttle, which currently is free.

Because of this new tactic, many commuters will be forced to drive their own vehicle, or even possibly hitchhike rather than taking the bus. Anything that discourages people from taking the bus is usually a bad thing, isn't it? Personally speaking, shouldn't VANOC be concerned about all the vehicles clogging traffic? However, apparently the high bus fare is aiming to attract people to resort to monthly bus passes, which will give them access to connector services as well as local buses. The Squamish pass is $95, meanwhile the Pemberton one is $50, for the month of February. It is encouraged to buy transit passes to avoid single-passenger vehicles on the roads.

During the month of February, the amount of buses in Squamish, Pemberton, and Whistler will increase from 39 buses to 135 in order to carry 1.2 million people on the Sea to Sky corridor. Transit in Squamish and Pemberton connectors will run 24/7, while the existing Whistler routes will run more frequently.

These soaring fares apply to all passengers, and there are no discounts for seniors or students. Only children under five, or those with a ticket to an event, can ride the bus for free, otherwise best of luck to you!

BC Transit has hired an extra 250 transit operators from Alberta, and Ontario who will be travelling from Squamish to Whistler during the Games.

Those who are driving to Squamish and hoping to catch a ride to Whistler on one of the BC Transit buses will have to find themselves a place to park after VANOC notified the District of Squamish this week that, it will not provide a park and ride for the Games. The District of Squamish will develop its own park and ride, but the challenge will be coordinating it with the VANOC transportation plan.

Anyhow, I suggest everyone invest in a Transit pass because I doubt anybody is willing to pay that much money to just ride for a one-way trip. Are you all ready? Fill your pockets, and let's rock this Vancouver!


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