COVID-19 Response: Zion Canyon Shuttle Ticket System
Zion began implementing a temporary timed ticket system for the park shuttle in the Summer of 2020. This ticket system was established to assist with managing large crowds and congested conditions while providing social distancing for visitors on shuttles and while waiting in queue lines to board the shuttles. The ticket system provides predictable access to the Zion Canyon Scenic Drive while helping to address health and safety guidelines related to COVID-19.
It is anticipated that the shuttle ticket system will be in place through the summer of 2021 and potentially into the fall. Staff are needed in multiple locations to assist ticket holders, answer questions about the shuttle system and other opportunities in the park, provide critical safety information, manage queue lines, and assist in loading shuttles. In 2020, costs and staffing associated with the ticket system were covered by reallocating funding from park projects and redirecting staff from other visitor services. Visitation has increased dramatically from early pandemic levels, necessitating reestablishment of visitor services and work can no longer be delayed on critical park projects, and it is therefore no longer financially feasible to absorb operational costs associated with the COVID-19 shuttle ticketing system.
To address the costs associated with the ticket system, an addition $1 fee is needed to cover park costs. This fee would be in place only while the temporary ticket system for shuttles is needed to address public health requirements. The total cost of shuttle tickets would increase to $2 per ticket if the new fee is adopted (currently tickets cost $1 which is a transaction fee paid to the contractor operating recreation.gov). This new fee would be under the authority of Federal Lands Recreation Enhancement Act. Revenues from this fee increase would be dedicated to costs associated with operating the shuttle system under COVID-19 conditions.
Public comments are being accepted from April 9, 2021 through April 25, 2021.
Zion National Park is conducting public engagement to seek comments on a possible change in the cost to purchase a shuttle ticket. The fee would be raised by $1 (for a total of $2 per shuttle ticket) to cover staffing and operational costs related to the ticket system.