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Free Shuttles Hit The Road Saturday Morning

Photo courtesy Suzy Blackhurst

Photo courtesy Suzy Blackhurst

Two new cut-a-way vehicles holding 14 riders, a new cut-a-way bus accommodating 25 people, and an expanded service route will greet Free Estes Park Shuttle riders when the service begins operating on Saturday morning. The daily service begins Saturday, June 27 and continues through Aug. 30.

Riders can board or get off the shuttles at locations designated by shuttle stop signage along Fall River Road, Big Thompson Avenue, Marys Lake Road, Colorado Highway 66, Moraine Avenue and Elkhorn Avenue. Route maps are available throughout town at lodging properties and at retail stores on Elkhorn Avenue and the Estes Park Visitors Center.
Several lodging facilities are pick-up points on Big Thompson Avenue before the Blue Route shuttle heads downtown for eastbound stops in front of Rocky Mountain Traders, Barlow Plaza and the Estes Park Visitors Center.

The Red Route shuttle stops at Town Hall before turning north to the bypass and then west on Fall River Road. After stopping at the Fall River Visitor Center, the Red Route shuttle returns to town, periodically stopping on the South side of Elkhorn Ave. and ending at the Estes Park Visitors Center.

Both the Blue and Red Routes are 30-minute rides from start to finish and will operate daily from June 27 through Aug. 30 and every weekend in September. First shuttle of the day on the Blue and Red Routes leaves the Estes Park Visitors Center at 10 a.m.; the last shuttle of the day departs from the Visitors Center at 7:30 p.m.

Marys Lake Lodge is the southwestern Brown Route’s first stop. Other selected Marys Lake Road facilities are included as pick-up points before the shuttles head west on Colorado Hwy. 66. The YMCA – Estes Park Center is included as a stop on the Brown Route which is an hour-long ride from beginning to end. The Brown Route will be operated June 27 through Aug. 30 and the first two weekends in September (Sept. 5, 6, 12 and 13). The first Brown Route shuttle of the day leaves the Estes Park Visitors Center at 10 a.m.; the last shuttle of the day leaves the Visitors Center at 7 p.m.

This will be the fourth year free shuttle service has been provided by the Town of Estes Park, although this is the first year of operations using vehicles that have been leased by the Town. During the first three experimental years of operations, the National Park shared its fleet with the Town. Cost of operations, including the vehicle leases, is budgeted for $225,009 this summer.

Also beginning operations this weekend is Rocky Mountain National Park’s express “Hiker Shuttle.”  The Hiker Shuttle operates from the Town of Estes Park Visitors Center to the Park’s Beaver Meadows Visitor Center and continues to the Park & Ride.  The Hiker Shuttle operates daily from June 27 through Sept. 7. The Hiker Shuttle operates weekends only during the remainder of September. The first Hiker Shuttle bus leaves the Town of Estes Park Visitors Center at 6:30 a.m. and the last bus will leave the Park & Ride bound for Estes Park at 8 p.m. on all scheduled days.

The Hiker Shuttle will run on an hourly schedule early and late in the day; switching to a half hour schedule during the peak of the day (10 a.m. to 6 p.m.). A park pass will be required to board the bus.  The last bus of the day that returns to the park will leave the Estes Park Visitors Center at 7:30 p.m.

For more information about shuttle operations, contact the Estes Park Convention & Visitors Bureau at 970-577-9900 or visit EstesParkCVB.com. For information about Rocky Mountain National Park’s Hiker Shuttle, call 970-586-1206.

© 2014 Estes Park News, Inc

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