El Portal Remote Parking and Express Valley Shuttle Pilot Project
Service Schedule and Route: "Special Event" Service is scheduled to take place on weekends and holidays between June 25 and September 6, 2011. Weekend service will include Saturdays and Sundays (2 days), while the 4th of July and Labor Day holidays will include service Friday thru Monday (4 days).
Two additional YARTS runs will be added to the existing schedule, providing service on a half-hour basis. The bus will stop at all existing stops in El Portal and proceed directly to Yosemite Valley where it will drop passengers at the Visitor Center (stop # X). From the Visitor Center passengers will be able to access the Valley Shuttle and other concessioner transit services to reach other destinations throughout the park.
Remote Parking Lot: Essential to this project is the use of a remote intercept parking lot to stage day use visitor vehicles. The existing employee parking lot located in front of the Resources Management and Science building will be used on weekends and holidays to stage visitor parking for the special event shuttle (see map and photos attached). The few employees that currently use this lot during weekends will be informed that they must park behind the Warehouse where there is excess supply during these times. Visitors taking the special event shuttle bus will use the existing YARTS bus stop located in front of the RMS building on Foresta Road.
Temporary signs will be located along HWY 140 and Foresta Road to direct visitors to the remote parking lot and bus stop (see signs attached). Both sandwich-board and electronic variable message signs will be used during weekend and holiday service days and removed during weekday non-service days. Two portable toilets and a hand washing station will be employed at the parking lot throughout the duration of the project and removed upon its completion. Seasonal Protection Division personnel will staff the lot to direct traffic and parking. A media release, including service schedule, route and parking location information will be provided to the public prior to implementing service.
Data Collection and Monitoring: Data collection efforts will document project success collecting information on the number of riders on the special event bus service, including the number of vehicles on the ground at the remote parking lot. This data collection effort will be conducted by Resources Management and Science staff. A NPS Research Permit has already been submitted and approved.
This project will implement a pilot of "special event" shuttle bus service and associated remote parking between El Portal and Yosemite Valley. This service will be in addition to the existing YARTS service schedule providing more opportunities for day use visitors and park staff/partners to take alternative transportation during peak use periods in the summer to relieve traffic congestion and promote a positive visitor experience. This pilot project is consistent with the sustainability and visitor experience emphasis areas of the park's draft strategic vision.