National Park Service

State of the Park Reports

State of the Park Report for Zion National Park

Resource Brief – Shuttle System

Visitors boarding a park shuttle

In the 1990s, visitation to ZION surpassed 2,000,000 people and park managers took steps to implement a shuttle system that would replace private vehicles on the six-mile-long Zion Canyon Scenic Drive. The system began service in May, 2000, and immediately addressed issues related to vehicle congestion, air quality, and degradation of resources in the canyon. The mandatory system operates full time between mid-March and October in Zion Canyon and on weekends during the month of November. The cost to ride the shuttle is included in the park entrance fee. The buses are powered with liquefied propane, a clean-burning alternative energy fuel.

The system operates along two loops: one through the adjacent town of Springdale and one along the Zion Canyon Scenic Drive. The park buses make nine stops and take eighty minutes to complete a full loop; the town buses make seven stops and take thirty minutes to complete a loop. The transit fleet includes 39 buses and 23 trailer units. Each bus and trailer unit is 30' in length with a combined seating capacity for 68 passengers.

Throughout its fifteen years of service, the shuttle system has continuously seen increased ridership. There were 4,031,441 multiple passenger boardings in 2014 on the whole system, which was an increase of 10% from 2013. The average number of riders per bus, per hour of service for the year was 82.5, which was the highest annual number recorded since the inception of the system. The busiest day of service in 2014 recorded 41,723 passenger boardings, with an average of 120 riders per bus, per hour of service for the day. Operation of the shuttle significantly reduces the number of private vehicles that would be in the canyon without it. Wheelchair lifts continue to increase annually as well as bicycle lifts, demonstrating a variety of users utilizing the shuttle system as part of their park experience.

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Last Updated: June 19, 2017 Contact Webmaster