In the 1980s the Whistler Question began posing a question to three to six people and publishing their responses under “Whistler’s Answers” (not to be confused with the Whistler Answer). Each week, we’ll be sharing one question and the answers given back in 1983. Please note, all names/answers/occupations/neighbourhoods represent information given to the Question at the time of publishing and do not necessarily reflect the person today.
Some context for this week’s question: While various bus services had operated in Whistler, both between Whistler and Vancouver and (like the “Purple People Eater” run by the Ski Boot Lodge Hotel in the 1970s) between various accommodations, the base of the mountain, and the Gondola area. By 1983, however, there was still no public transportation system. In the winter of 1982/83, Lance Fletcher of Stoney’s Restaurant coordinated a one-van shuttle service which cost riders $1 and was supposed to be paid for by money from local businesses. The following year, three local business people organized an intra-valley shuttle bus service that would be paid for by advertising, as well as charging riders between $1 and $2/ trip. It was proposed that the bus would run from 6pm to 2am between the Gondola area and either White Gold or Emerald Estates. There were no plans for service during the day. The main question behind a bus service seemed to have been who was going to pay to provide the service.
Question: Does Whistler need a public bus service?
Ann Byrne – Village Shop Employee – Cedar Springs
There’s no other type of transportation for people who come in by plane and travel up here, and taxis get expensive. It’s also needed for locals who don’t have transportation. The bus should run in the morning and definitely afternoons and evenings. It’s definitely worthwhile.
Dale Heggtveit – Village Store Employee – Emerald Estates
I think a bus would be a good idea. It wouldn’t be worth their while from the local’s point of view if it didn’t run in the early morning, though. It would prevent accidents from drinking drivers at night, but if it only ran in the evening the bars and restaurants should pay.
Lance Fletcher – Restaurant Co-owner; Co-ordinator of Last Year’s Bus Service – Whistler Village
In a first class resort people expect some sort of public transportation. Hitchhiking here is dangerous. People have been run over and killed. Last year we were planning early morning service, starting at 6:30 or 7 am, running until 10 or 11 am, and then beginning again after the mountains close.