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, in 2012. The Tusayan Route shuttle will be available from May 12 through September 7 and will run at 15-minute intervals between 8 a.m. and 9:30 p.m., daily.
Each day, the first bus will leave Tusayan at 8 a.m. from the IMAX, while the first bus will leave the Grand Canyon Visitor Center at 8:30 a.m. The last buses will leave both Tusayan and the Grand Canyon Visitor Center at 9:30 p.m.
Shuttle buses will make the following four stops in Tusayan:
IMAX Theater/R.P.'s Stage Stop,
Best Western Grand Canyon Squire Inn,
Grand Canyon Airport (Grand Canyon Airlines terminal), and
The Grand Hotel.
This summer, visitors should expect temporary modifications to shuttle stop locations and parking areas in Tusayan due to significant road construction, including streetscape improvements and construction of permanent shuttle bus stop shelters. Every effort will be made to communicate these temporary changes and to accommodate visitors utilizing the shuttle bus service.
Public parking for Tusayan shuttle riders is available near the IMAX Theater, R.P.'s Stage Stop, and at the Grand Canyon Airport. Those taking advantage of the shuttle service 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.
The Tusayan Shuttle is free of charge; however, visitors entering the park via shuttle bus will need to purchase their entrance passes in advance. Entrance passes can be purchased at most of the hotels in Tusayan, including the Best Western Grand Canyon Squire Inn, the Grand Hotel, Grand Canyon Red Feather Lodge and Canyon Plaza Resort. Entrance passes can also be purchased at the IMAX Theater, R.P.'s Stage Stop, the Grand Canyon Airport at the Grand Canyon Airlines terminal, Tusayan Trading Post and the Wild West Experience. 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.
To increase ease of use, informational signs regarding 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.
In 2011, there were more than 92,500 boardings on the Tusayan Route between May 14 and September 9, representing a reduction of approximately 15,500 cars entering the park. If the Tusayan Route continues to prove successful, NPS will continue to operate this service as funding allows.
Grand Canyon National Park Superintendent Dave Uberuaga said the Park Service is pleased to provide the 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," Uberuaga said. "We hope everyone will continue to use and enjoy the Tusayan Route shuttle in 2012."
Information regarding the Tusayan Route and the park's other shuttle bus routes, which run throughout the South Rim area, is available in The Guide, the park's free newspaper, available at park entrance stations, visitor centers and entrance pass purchase locations. The Guide is also available online at http://www.nps.gov/grca.
For additional information on services and programs offered at the Grand Canyon, please click on the link referenced above or call (928) 638-7888.