Perimeter Transportation last week abruptly ceased operating its shuttle service between Vancouver International Airport (YVR), Squamish and Whistler.In a brief notice posted on the company's website on Friday (Nov. 21), Perimeter officials wrote, "Perimeter regrets to announce that we will cease operation of the Whistler Express service between Whistler and Vancouver Airport effective end of day Friday, Nov. 21."The service has been running to and from Whistler for decades, and it picked up a Squamish stop in early 2007. Whistler's visitors and residents must now rely on Pacific Coach Lines (PCL) for transportation to and from Vancouver Airport. PCL this week announced plans to increase the number of daily round trips from YVR to Whistler. Darian Tooley, PCL director of sales and marketing said passengers boarding at YVR may request a drop-off in Squamish. And the company's southbound buses make scheduled stops in Squamish at 8 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. every day. Passengers travelling at other times will only be picked up of they phone PCL's reservations line to make advance arrangements in. Perimeter officials did not return phone messages seeking comment. However, according to court documents, the central dispute was whether the Vancouver International Airport Authority should be considered a public utility, which comes with a duty to provide terminal access "to all ground transportation companies generally without discrimination and for reasonable fees."After Perimeter's licence expired in 2005, the company continued operating as it had before, but instead of paying the fees stipulated by the licence, began paying what the court documents called "a modest tariff rate paid by bus companies operating charter services on a non-scheduled basis."After YVR officials said Perimeter could not continue on that basis, Perimeter sued YVR and filed for and received a court injunction preventing YVR officials from terminating its operation of the Whistler Express. In late 2006, the company began characterizing inbound trips from Whistler as charter bus trips rather than scheduled service, further reducing the fees paid to YVR. Upon learning this, YVR filed a counterclaim to recover the fees and applied for the injunction to be lifted. On Nov. 7, B.C. Supreme Court Justice C.A. Wedge issued a ruling in a case dismissing Perimeter's claims against YVR and ordering the company to pay some $639,000 in fees to YVR, in addition to the $730,000 Perimeter had already paid to cover the period from May 1, 2006 to July 31, 2007. Justice Wedge ruled that YVR is not a public utility, dismissed Perimeter's original claim and ordered that it pay the outstanding fees.Perimeter has operated the service in the corridor for 25 years. Jason Bechard, who drove for Perimeter for the past three summers, said he believed the company employed 15 full-time and "eight or 10" part-time drivers on the service, most of them living in Whistler or Squamish. He said that while some may have been surprised by the news, he and a few others were not."Those of us that followed the court dealings kind of expected it. For a lot of us, the whole process seemed to accelerate really fast," Bechard said."I enjoyed the job," said Bechard. "We had a chance to interact with customers, tell stories about local politics, sights, area history, for the two hours that we were with them."