April 26, 2016
Emily Davis, 928-638-7609
Grand Canyon, Ariz. – The National Park Service (NPS) will again offer shuttle bus service between Grand Canyon National Park and the neighboring town of Tusayan, Arizona in 2016. The shuttle bus service will run an additional five weeks this year. The Tusayan Route will be available from Saturday, May 7, 2016 through Sunday, October 9, 2016 and will run at 20-minute intervals between 8 am and 9:30 pm daily.
During the busy summer season, lines are long at the entrance station and parking is difficult to find on the South Rim, particularly for RVs and vehicles pulling trailers. Those taking advantage of the shuttle service will have expedited, hassle-free entry into the park and will be able to access the park's trails, scenic viewpoints, and free shuttle bus system from the Grand Canyon Visitor Center. Each day, the first bus leaves Tusayan at 8 am from the IMAX Theater, while the first bus will leave the Grand Canyon Visitor Center at 8:25 am. The last buses will leave IMAX at 9:45 pm and the Grand Canyon Visitor Center at 9:30 pm daily.
Shuttle buses will make the following four stops in Tusayan:
·IMAX Theater/R.P.'s Stage Stop,
·Best Western Grand Canyon Squire Inn,
·The Grand Hotel, and
·Big E Steakhouse and Saloon.
Visitors can park anywhere in Tusayan to take the bus, including the Best Western Squire Inn, Grand Hotel, Big E Steakhouse, IMAX/R.P.'s Stage Stop, and the park-and-ride lot on the north end of town. The park-and-ride lot is especially good for RVs and trailers, which have limited parking options in the park. Informational signs for the shuttle bus service are posted along Highway 64 south of Tusayan, as well as at various locations within Tusayan.
Buses are easily identifiable and are fueled with clean-burning, compressed natural gas. All shuttle buses are wheelchair accessible and are equipped with a bike rack that can hold up to three bikes.
The Tusayan Route is free of charge; however, visitors entering the park via shuttle bus will need to purchase their entrance passes in advance. These passes can be purchased at park entrance stations or at the following Tusayan businesses: Best Western Grand Canyon Squire Inn, Canyon Plaza Resort, Red Feather Lodge, National Geographic Visitor Center (IMAX), and R.P.'s Stage Shop. Entrance passes purchased at these locations are valid for shuttle bus or private vehicle entry for seven days and are accepted at any of Grand Canyon National Park's entrance stations. Those holding a valid America the Beautiful National Park and Federal Recreational Lands Pass or other valid pass will not need to purchase an additional entrance pass.
In 2015, ridership on the Tusayan Route increased 64 percent with approximately 143,000 boardings, representing a reduction of about 24,000 cars entering the park. Last year, there were approximately 7.4 million boardings on the park's shuttle system overall, representing a reduction of two million short in-park car trips, thus reducing congestion and the park's carbon footprint.
This year, the Tusayan Route will operate an additional five weeks, giving visitors and residents more opportunity to take advantage of the service. The extension will be paid for by the Town of Tusayan.
Grand Canyon National Park Superintendent Dave Uberuaga said of the service, "We are pleased to provide this shuttle service to park visitors and local residents again this year. Utilizing this free service helps to reduce crowding along park roadways and reduces your carbon footprint, further protecting Grand Canyon's unique resources. We hope everyone will continue to use and enjoy the Tusayan Route in 2016 and appreciate Tusayan's support of the route."
Information regarding the Tusayan Route and the park's other shuttle bus routes, which run throughout the South Rim area, is available in the South Rim Pocket Map and Services Guide or online at https://www.nps.gov/grca/planyourvisit/shuttle-buses.htm.
For additional information on services and programs offered at the Grand Canyon, please click on the links referenced above or call 928-638-7888.