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Yosemite National Park to Implement New Park and Ride Program for Park Visitors

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avatar Yosemite National Park to Implement New Park and Ride Program for Park Visitors
June 28, 2011 04:29PM
Yosemite National Park to Implement New Park and Ride Program for Park Visitors
Date: June 28, 2011

YARTS to Provide New Service originating from El Portal

Yosemite National Park will begin a new Park and Ride program beginning July 1, 2011. The inaugural program will bring visitors from El Portal to Yosemite Valley along Highway 140 and is designed to alleviate traffic congestion by reducing the number of private vehicles entering the park. The Park and Ride service will be available to visitors on weekends from July 1 through September 5, 2011. The service will also be offered the Friday and Monday of the 4th of July and Labor Day weekends.

Remote parking for visitors wishing to utilize this service will be located along Foresta Road, in El Portal, near the Yosemite National Park Maintenance Complex. There will be signs along the roadway and park personnel onsite to provide assistance and guidance for visitors wishing to park their vehicles.

Visitors are highly encouraged to use this new service when visiting Yosemite Valley from El Portal. Once in Yosemite Valley, visitors can utilize the free park hybrid shuttle buses that provide transportation to most of the most popular destinations in Yosemite Valley. The shuttle buses, with stops every 10 minutes, operate daily from 7:00 a.m. to 10:00 p.m.

The Yosemite Area Regional Transportation System (YARTS) has been providing bus service along the Highway 140 corridor from Merced to Yosemite Valley for park visitors and park employees since 2000. The YARTS service is designed to reduce private vehicles entering and exiting the park on a daily basis. YARTS also provides service over the Tioga Road into Mammoth Lakes during the summer season. All gear, including bicycles and hiking equipment, can be brought on any YARTS bus.

All fares to Yosemite include gate fees. Bus services between Yosemite Valley and El Portal costs $7 per adult, $5 per child under 12 years of age. Children under 12 ride free with the purchase of one adult ticket. Senior discounts and family package are also available. For more information on bus schedules and bus fares, please visit: http://www.YARTS.com.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/28/2011 04:30PM by eeek.
I'd probably like to try this service. I might have to plan my packing a little more since I'd have to haul my stuff with me rather than leaving it in my car.
They definitely need something like this. I was there the week of the 20th of June and I've never seen it so crowded with cars. We usually go earlier in the spring so this was the latest in the spring I've been there. They also had that one free entrance day last week and that was a transportation disaster. Luckily I observed all the traffic from a bicycle since we were already camped in the valley. But any time after about 11 a.m. people were parked all over the place and traffic was at a standstill along river straight and on the free day it was backed up from Yosemite Lodge to the road leading to Upper and Lower Pines Campgrounds.
I thought there was a thread about this already?

Charging is crazy. If they want people to use this, it has to be free, something like the shuttles in Zion Canyon, which have connections to Springdale which are also free.
Quote
hotrod4x5
I thought there was a thread about this already?

Charging is crazy. If they want people to use this, it has to be free, something like the shuttles in Zion Canyon, which have connections to Springdale which are also free.

Agree, however Calif. and Fed. govt. are broke so that probably won't happen. Would be the best solution though. Well, actually the best solution would be a reservation system for limited day use entry during the summer via car, and free shuttles from outside the park to the valley for those who don't have a car reservation. I know, I know, a scalper's dream.



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 06/29/2011 01:27PM by mtn man.
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mtn man
Well, actually the best solution would be a reservation system for limited day use entry during the summer via car, and free shuttles from outside the park to the valley for those who don't have a car reservation. I know, I know, a scalper's dream

No reservations for day use vehicles. Just leave it as first-come, first-in. The key is allowing vehicle travel elsewhere within the park. Yosemite National Park is huge. As a whole, it can accommodate a lot of vehicles. It's just that Yosemite Valley (and the Mariposa Grove) can't. So if Yosemite implemented a more expansive free shuttle system, or even a low-fare shuttle bus system throughout the park, people could park their cars outside of the valley and take the shuttle buses to the major destinations (within Yosemite Valley and outside of it).

It would be great if there were a regularly and frequently (every hour or 30 minutes) scheduled (and affordable) bus service from Yosemite Valley to Glacier Point (not just the high fare, limited runs option offered by DNC). Ditto with service from the Yosemite Valley to Tuolumne Meadows. Maybe a $15 day-pass that would enable an individual to have unlimited rides on the longer shuttle bus runs for a day. (And the Park Service could offer multiday passes too: $25 for a 2-Day pass, $50 for a 5-day pass, plus having discount passes for seniors and children).

Right now the free shuttle service within Yosemite Valley is nice, but very limited in its scope.
Saturday the 25th was a traffic and parking nightmare! Athough the shuttle bus gets to use special lanes on the road, good luck having room on the bus to get on. I didn't have my bike, but I walked faster than traffic from former river campground area to the village.
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