Gerry's Calgary SUN Column: Thursday, February 23rd, 2017
Spring is less than a month away and the travel season isn’t far behind so people will be traveling to the mountain parks for family fun, hiking and sight seeing.
It being Canada’s 150th Birthday, Parks Canada was kind enough to offer everyone a free Discovery Pass to go and see the wonders of Banff and Jasper, there wasn’t much consultation on how to handle the extra traffic so Banff had to get to work quickly and figure out a way not to swamp the town’s parking problem that already exists.
Parks Canada has decided to team up with Roam transit to get folks to where they want to go without the problems of trying to find a place to out your car.
Lake Minnewanka is a huge tourist attraction and parking is very limited around the lake area and it’s almost impossible to find a place to ditch the family wagon for a walk around the lake, its packed May long weekend right through till October.
The new transit route will now include the lake and really improve the experience without all the congestion of traffic.
The project is still in its pilot phase and they plan to invest about $870,000 dollars over the next couple of years to make things go smoothly, be eco-friendly and allow way better access to the park.
They added Canmore to the Roam bus route last year and its been a huge success with more people deciding to take the 24 window hardtop, it even allows you to bring your mountain bike to be loaded onto the front of the bus so you can use it when you get to the trails in Banff.
The lineups at the gates are massive on long weekends and this should alleviate the wait times, as you are still required to show your pass as you go through.
Be forewarned if you are planning a family trip to Lake Louise, you will probably be asked to park your car miles from the lake and take the shuttles as the parking fills up quickly.
If you are registered at any of the hotels in the area reserved parking will still be there for you but if it’s a day trip either plan on getting there early or expect to take the shuttle to the lake.
It should be an amazing year for Canmore, Banff and Jasper this year with the low Canadian dollar and more visitors coming from China and Japan than ever before.
Happy Birthday 150th Birthday, Canada. It's going to be a busy spot this summer and this information should help you get to where you are going without much hassle.