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YARTS question.

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YARTS question.
January 21, 2012 12:23PM
Hi Everyone,

I am hoping to find some help here. I am visiting from Belgium and going to Yosemite without a car.
This is what my itinerary will look like:

- San Diego to Fresno. (Non stop) - 9:15 am to 10:50.

- Fresno airport to amtrak station: cab (11 minutes).

- Amtrak to Merced: 3:20 om to 4:22 pm.

- Merced to Curry Village: 5:30 pm to 8:05 pm.


My confusion is for the last to parts of the travel. Based on research I did, I found that the last YARTS bus to Curry Village picks us up at 5:30 at Merced Amtrak. (yarts.com/schedule/…140winter2011_2012.pdf) But this is an old schedule and don't know if this is usually mostly the same?

But when I look on the Amtrak.com website and want to book directly from Fresno to Curry Village, it gives me only the option of taking the train at 12 pm, arriving 1:08 pm and then taking the connecting Yarts bus in Merced at 1:30 pm. And those hours I cannot find on the YARTS schedule I was working with... So I am really confused as to will there be a later bus or not?

If not, I might book the train at 12 pm with connecting bus but I am afraid I will not make it from Fresno airport in time. Especially if I have bags checked. So my last resort would be to just take two backpacks as carry on, leave immediately after landing, hop on the train and get that connecting bus. But since I am a first time traveler, I like to have some time in between should anything go wrong.

What would be your opinion?

Thank you and I would appreciate any help I can get.


Ben.
Re: YARTS question.
January 21, 2012 01:50PM
Amtrak runs its own buses. Perhaps you are only seeing their bus and not the YARTS bus.
Re: YARTS question.
January 21, 2012 02:02PM
I think you'll have to take the 1:30 pm YARTS bus from Merced. According to the YARTS schedule you linked to the 5:30 pm bus only goes as far as Yosemite Bug. Yosemite Bug is a hotel outside the park, just a few miles after the town of Mariposa. The 5:30 pm run also does not operate on weekends or holidays.
Re: YARTS question.
January 21, 2012 02:39PM
Hi there,

Thank you for pointing that out! I hadn't even seen that! Appreciate that. The thing is that that is their winter schedule and according to a lady at the Merced center it will change to the summer schedule in May and there will be a bus at 5:20 PM. But I am not sure if that one will go to Curry. I better ask! I'll keep you posted.

Thank you

xx
Re: YARTS question.
January 21, 2012 05:20PM
Hi there,

I just found a link to their 2011 summer schedule. This DOES have the connection to curry village I described. (I knew I saw it somewhere smiling smiley)
http://www.yarts.com/schedule/2011/140summer2011REV080311.pdf

Thanks.

Ben
avatar Re: YARTS question.
January 21, 2012 08:54PM
It would be helpful to know what month are you planning to visit Yosemite since transit schedules tend to vary between the winter months, spring, fall, and summer months.
Re: YARTS question.
January 21, 2012 09:40PM
hi there,

I can't believe I forgot to mention that. I plan on leaving July 1 so their schedule for that month won't be up until May... So I don't know what to do really.

Thanks

Ben.
avatar Re: YARTS question.
January 21, 2012 09:59PM
Hey Ben -

Drop YARTS an email and explain your situation. Try the email address on their contact page:
http://yarts.com/contact.html

If they don't reply, let me know, I may have another address you can use.

They are really friendly and should help you out. They probably won't know their exact summer schedule at this point, but chances are the 5:30 bus will be running, you should be fine.

The schedules AMTRAK lists are fairly accurate in the train department, but they aren't always up-to-date when it comes to the bus.

It just adds to the adventure, and thanks for riding YARTS!
Re: YARTS question.
January 21, 2012 11:09PM
Hey there,

I sent them an email yesterday night but they only reply Mon-Fri at business hours so I am hoping to hear back on Monday or Tuesday. I will probably give them a call on Monday and check with what they say. Honestly I don't need a specific hour, just need to know if there is going to be a bus after 4:20. If not, I have to change the Amtrak to an earlier train. (but then it gets tight with my flight)
But you are right, it certainly does add to the adventure!

On another note, does the bus stop right in front of the Amtrak station and do you just buy your tickets from the driver? I hope the bus won't be full. I can't take any more of this adventure tongue sticking out smiley

Thanks and enjoy your night

Ben.
avatar Re: YARTS question.
January 21, 2012 11:14PM
If you make your reservations through Amtrak from Fresno to Curry Village, you'll receive two Amtrak tickets. One for the train from Fresno to Merced, and a second ticket for the bus from Merced to Curry Village.

You won't have to worry about the connection either, the Amtrak bus will wait for the train, even if the train is late. And you're guaranteed a seat on the Amtrak bus with the bus ticket you got from Amtrak.


Re: YARTS question.
January 22, 2012 09:23AM
Hey,

Yes I figures that but the only problem is they only have two trains that connect with a bus. And the latest train would be one at 12:05 PM. And I have never been to Fresno airport so I would not know if I can get luggage and take a cab and get to the amtrak station on time. I have heard that baggage claim is a real pain in Fresno. I was thinking if I call them tomorrow and they can't help me I might just do that and only get carry on and just hurry straight to the station by cab. Do you have experience with the Amtrak? It says you need to be there 30 minutes in advance but then people also say there is no formal check in.

Thanks.

Ben



Edited 1 time(s). Last edit at 01/22/2012 09:23AM by benoit.
avatar Re: YARTS question.
January 22, 2012 03:00PM
Hi again Ben -

The ticketing/check-in process at AMTRAK stations is quite casual. Nothing like the the airlines. You shouldn't need to get there too far in advance. If you booked your tickets online, swipe your credit card at the Quick-Track kiosk and it will spit out four tickets - two for the train and two for the bus. It takes no more than a couple of minutes. If you have a problem, the station personnel can help.

Jump on the train and show your tickets to the conductor as he passes your seat; he'll take the one he wants. If your timing is tight and your tickets won't print, just jump on the train. The conductor may grumble but he will sort you out in Merced.

The YARTS bus connects with the train in a small parking just north of the station. It's just a few steps, right about here:



There is very little traffic there so it will be obvious. If you have time to kill, there's a small convenience store just a block down the street. The bus drivers are very friendly and helpful; they will take care of you from there.

I've never come across a train that was full and AMTRAK riders have priority on YARTS. There will be no problem finding a seat. Most bus riders are park employees shuttling between the Valley/El Portal/Mariposa; they'll get pushed back to a later local bus to allow you to make your connection when your return to Merced.

I'm fairly sure there will be a 5:30 bus to the Valley on the schedule this summer. YARTS may not be able to confirm that yet, but it's an important connection for visitors such as yourself.
Re: YARTS question.
January 22, 2012 03:18PM
Hi there,

Thanks a lot for that info! That should help me out! I think that for now I am going to book an earlier train then. I should land around 10:50 am and get the train at 12:05 pm. It's an 11 minute cab drive and I won't be taking any checked in bags. SO basically I just take a cab and swipe my credit card and get on the train. Should I be late, I can always catch the next one and see if there's a later bus, such as the 5:30.

Also I just saw that Merced Amtrak is only the second stop of the Yarts bus, so don't think that should be a problem.

Thanks for all of the info! Really appreciate it!

Ben
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