With hopes of easing congestion around Estes Park, and making it easier for visitors to negotiate their park, Rocky Mountain National Park officials are testing out a shuttle system.
The experimental program, in conjunction with the Town of Estes Park, the Federal Highway Administration, and the Colorado Department of Transportation, is intended to "reduce congestion in downtown Estes Park and along Bear Lake Road in the park through 'mode shift,' moving visitors out of their cars on to public transit. And, in doing so, reduce emissions at the same time."
The program is centered on the U.S. Highway 36 corridor. There are four changeable message signs informing visitors about the new Park & Ride at the Stanley Park Fairgrounds in Estes Park. One sign is located on Highway 66 near Lyons, one sign is on US 36 near the junction of Highway 66, one sign is prior to the descent into Estes Valley and the fourth sign is at the turn for the Stanley Park Fairgrounds Park & Ride.
These changeable signs also highlight that visitors can board these buses to ride in to the Bear Lake Road corridor in Rocky Mountain National Park.
The pilot program is scheduled to run through Labor Day weekend. Surveys are being conducted in Estes Park to evaluate the effectiveness of whether shuttle users were influenced by the signs along the U.S. Highway 36 corridor in deciding whether to take the shuttle, if riding the shuttle was a good experience for them and why others chose not to use the transit system.