A round-trip to the village by Whistler and Valley Express currently costs Miranda Dalgliesh and her family about $11, once she adds up the cost of her husband’s monthly bus pas, her own bus ticket and bus tickets for her seven-year-old daughter. Their other daughter is still young enough to ride for free, but would add another $4 to the round-trip price.
However, council is considering a new transit pricing plan at tonight’s (Oct. 15) meeting that could mean big savings for families if they are approved. Under the proposed Family Travel Program, parents will be able to take up to three kids aged 12 and younger for free, providing they have a valid monthly, six-month, annual or one-day transit pass.
Dalgliesh said she requested a family pass option in the last survey, and was glad to hear it was being considered.
“Everywhere else you go there is a family pass or a family day ticket, and we didn’t have anything like that,” she said. She currently takes her family into the village two or three times a week on average.
“It gets expensive,” she said. “You’re probably paying more for transit at that price than you would for gas and parking for a car.”
Councillor Jack Crompton, who sits on the Transit Management Advisory Committee, said the family program and other proposed changes came out of rider surveys and discussions with locals.
“We definitely want to make (transit) more accessible to families, I know parents have to work hard as it is to get their children on the bus with them,” he said. “To make it more cost-effective was a big push for us… I’m hoping it translates into more family riders.”
Other proposed transit fare changes include eliminating the conceTrassion cash fare and keeping the adult cash fare to $2.50, creating a $7 one-day pass and increasing the price of a 10-ticket pass to $22.50 from $20.