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Estes Park Free Shuttles See Record Ridership In 2013

Town-Shuttle-ElkhornTrolley to operate Nov. 29 for Catch the Glow festivities

The 2013 Estes Park Free Shuttles saw a significant growth in ridership, carrying 89,637 riders, an increase of 52.3% over 2012. Ridership on the new trolley, now named the Elkhorn Express, came to 30,259 riders, representing 33.8% of the total system, carrying a daily average of 378.2 riders per day. This year marked the eighth year of shuttle service, with shuttles operating June 21 through September 8. Since the free shuttle program began in 2006 it has carried 344,987 riders. Four shuttles and the trolley transported passengers to 59 stops on five routes throughout downtown and the Estes Valley. Based on driver estimates, approximately 30% of riders were local residents and summer workers. Enhancements to the shuttle system this year included extended service hours for the Brown Route, additional service days, and the new Gold route serving the downtown area on Elkhorn Ave.

Shuttle riders from around the world commented on their experiences:

“Excellent shuttle service around here. 10 out of 10.” Dana – Australia

“My wife and I have toured many cities in the U.S., but we have never seen such an efficient transportation system. We rode ALL (the) shuttles and saw some fantastic sights. Thank you very much for your service.” Ralph and Gerri – Tulsa, OK

“First of all I love the shuttle! Second, I love all the drivers! They are all helpful (and) friendly!” Pat – Estes Park

The Shuttle Committee presented the Name-the-Trolley winner, Bruce Barrow of Estes Park, with an official certificate and “I named the trolley” sweatshirt on October 23. Over 90 entries were submitted from all over the United States for the Name-the-Trolley contest and the Shuttle Committee selected the final name from those entries. Three people submitted the name Elkhorn Express with Bruce Barrow the closest at guessing the total trolley riders for July which was 14,375. Linda Shaffer and Steve Discher also suggested the final trolley name.

On Friday, November 28, the trolley will operate throughout the day for the Catch the Glow Parade.

The Town’s shuttle program was initiated after the Town commissioned a comprehensive parking study in 2005, which recommended a shuttle system to assist with consistently high seasonal traffic and limited land mass for expanding parking areas. The Shuttle Committee (made up of Town of Estes Park officials, employees, volunteers, citizens, and local business representatives) will review the events and activities of the 2013 season as it plans for 2014.

For more information on Estes Park Free Shuttles, contact the Estes Park Visitor Center at 970-577-9900. To receive Town news in your email inbox, please email

© 2014 Estes Park News, Inc

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