National Park Service to offer pilot shuttle bus program between Grand Canyon National Park and neighboring town of Tusayan again this year
Contact: Maureen Oltrogge, 928-638-7779
Grand Canyon, Ariz. – The National Park Service (NPS) will offer a pilot shuttle bus program between Grand Canyon National Park and the neighboring town of Tusayan again this year. The service will be available from May 16 through September 13 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 at Canyon View Information Plaza at 8:40 a.m. The last buses will leave Tusayan and Canyon View Information Plaza 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 Canyon Flight Trading Company. Public parking is available in the vicinity of each of the designated stops.
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 Canyon View Information Plaza. 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 and R.P.’s Stage Stop, Canyon Flight Trading Company 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 regarding the pilot program and designated parking locations are posted along Highway 64 south of Tusayan, as well as at various locations in Tusayan that will help to make this system easy to use.
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.
The National Park Service is providing this service to test the feasibility and evaluate the effectiveness of providing voluntary shuttle service between the gateway community of Tusayan and the park’s visitor center on the South Rim. Last year, during its first season, over 102,000 riders boarded the system between June 2 and September 28, representing a reduction of approximately 17,500 cars entering the park. If the Tusayan Route continues to prove successful, the National Park Service may operate the route during subsequent seasons.
Steve Martin, Park Superintendent said of the service, “We are pleased to be able to offer this service to our park visitors again this year. Last year, the first year of this pilot program, proved to be very successful. Many visitors took 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 hope visitors will continue to use and enjoy this service again this year.”
Information regarding this route and the park’s other shuttle bus routes which run throughout the South Rim area, including shuttle bus stops and 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?
From Yavapai Point on the South Rim of the Grand Canyon, the drop to the Colorado River below is 4,600 feet (1,400 m). The elevation at river level is 2,450 feet (750 m) above sea level. Without the Colorado River, a perennial river in a desert environment, the Grand Canyon would not exist.