Grand Canyon National Park will offer free shuttle service between the gateway community of Tusayan and the Grand Canyon Visitor Center again this year
Contact: Maureen Oltrogge, 928-638-7779
Contact: Shannan Marcak, 928-638-7958
Grand Canyon, Ariz. - Grand Canyon, Ariz. – The National Park Service (NPS) will offer a shuttle bus route between Grand Canyon National Park and the neighboring town of Tusayan again this summer season. The service will be available from May 15 through September 12 and will run at 15 minute intervals between 8:00 a.m. and 9:30 p.m.
The first bus will leave Tusayan at 8:00 a.m. and the first bus will leave the Grand Canyon Visitor Center at 8:40 a.m. The last buses will leave Tusayan and the Grand Canyon Visitor Center at 9:30 p.m.
The shuttle buses will make four stops in Tusayan including the IMAX Theater, R.P.’s Stage Stop, Squire Inn, Airport (Grand Canyon Airlines terminal) and Western Discovery Museum (in the same location as the former Canyon Flight Trading Company stop). Public parking is available at IMAX, RP’s and the Airport.
The Arizona Department of Transportation will be working on a street improvement project in Tusayan throughout the summer of 2010. Shuttle bus service will continue during this project; however, the location of shuttle bus stops in Tusayan may temporarily change to accommodate construction. Any changes to the shuttle bus stops during construction will be signed accordingly.
Those taking advantage of this voluntary service by parking in Tusayan and riding the shuttle bus into Grand Canyon National Park’s south entrance will have expedited entry into the park and will be able to connect with the park’s free shuttle bus system at the Grand Canyon Visitor Center. This service is provided free of charge; however, visitors entering the park via shuttle bus will need to purchase their entrance pass in advance. Entrance passes can be purchased at most of the hotels in Tusayan, including the Best Western Grand Canyon Squire Inn, the Grand, Grand Canyon Red Feather Lodge and the Quality Inn. Entrance passes can also be purchased at the IMAX Theater, R.P.’s Stage Stop and Grand Canyon National Park Airport at the Grand Canyon Airlines terminal. Entrance passes purchased at these locations are valid for shuttle bus or private vehicle entry for seven days and are accepted at any of the Grand Canyon National Park’s entrance stations. Those holding a valid America the Beautiful National Park and Federal Recreation Lands Pass or other valid pass will not need to purchase an additional entrance pass. Visitors leaving from the park to visit Tusayan are asked to bring their valid entrance passes with them if they are planning on re-entering the park.
Informational signs with information about the shuttle route and designated parking locations are posted along Highway 64 south of Tusayan, as well as at various locations in Tusayan.
National Park Service buses are easily identifiable and are fueled with clean burning compressed natural gas. The buses are all wheelchair accessible and are equipped with bike racks.
During the last two summer seasons the National Park Service provided this voluntary shuttle service under a pilot program designed to test the feasibility and evaluate the effectiveness of providing the service between the community of Tusayan and the Grand Canyon Visitor Center on the park’s South Rim. Each pilot season consisted of approximately 16 weeks and during each season; over 100,000 riders boarded the system, representing a reduction of approximately 17,500 cars entering the park. In addition, in surveys of shuttle riders conducted during both pilot seasons by the National Park Service, over 90 percent of riders indicated that they were satisfied with the service and would likely use it again.
Based on ridership and positive feedback from both visitors and the community of Tusayan during the pilot period, the National Park Service intends to offer this shuttle service in the future on a seasonal basis.
Steve Martin, Park Superintendent said of the service, “We are pleased to be able to offer this service to our park visitors. The pilot program proved to be very successful with many visitors taking advantage of the service to travel from Tusayan into the park, and from the park into Tusayan thereby reducing crowding and further helping protect park resources. We appreciate the cooperation of our partners in the Tusayan community and hope visitors will continue to use and enjoy this service.”
Information regarding this route and the park’s other shuttle bus routes which run throughout the South Rim area, including shuttle bus stops, parking locations, routes and schedules, is available in The Guide, a free park publication offered by the National Park Service and available at park entrance stations, visitor centers, and entrance pass purchase locations. The Guide is also available on line at http://www.nps.gov/grca.
For additional information on services and programs offered by the National Park Service at Grand Canyon, please click on the link referenced above or call the park at 928-638-7888.
Did You Know?
The more recent Kaibab limestone caprock, on the rims of the Grand Canyon, formed 270 million years ago. In contrast, the oldest rocks within the Inner Gorge at the bottom of Grand Canyon date to 1.84 billion years ago. Geologists currently set the age of Earth at 4.5 billion years.