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Shuttle Bus System Announced for Arches National Park

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National Parks Service
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Last year over 1 million people visited Arches National Park, putting unprecedented strain on parking lots and 18 miles of park roads. At some spots, long lines of RVs blocked a good part of the scenery. But the Park Service is adamant that, unlike Zion or Bryce Canyon National Parks, traffic at Arches should not be restricted.

The plan just unveiled calls instead for a free bus system to compete with private cars. Consultants say the park needs 11 new bus stops. From the park entrance to Devil's Garden, 40-foot busses will ply different routes for different kinds of visitors: a 2-hour express route to Balanced Rock and Windows, an all-day ride with onboard interpretive elements, a morning express for day hikers with ample room for packs, and a night sky shuttle.

The busses will run every 15 minutes, the maximum wait deemed tolerable in blistering summer temperatures. The Park Service hopes to get a pilot program up and running by 2015.

Originally from Wyoming, Jon Kovash has practiced journalism throughout the intermountain west. He was editor of the student paper at Denver’s Metropolitan College and an early editor at the Aspen Daily News. He served as KOTO/Telluride’s news director for fifteen years, during which time he developed and produced Thin Air, an award-winning regional radio news magazine that ran on 20 community stations in the Four Corners states. In Utah his reports have been featured on KUER/SLC and KZMU/Moab. Kovash is a senior correspondent for Mountain Gazette and plays alto sax in “Moab’s largest garage band."