Free shuttle bus begins summer 'trial' operation in Garden of the Gods
In keeping with plans announced this spring, a free, optional, limited shuttle service is running on a trial basis this summer in the Garden of the Gods.
The scheduled dates are May 26-28 (Memorial Day weekend), then daily from June 2 to Aug. 26 and concluding Sept. 1-2.
The time frame is 9 a.m. to 4 p.m.
The shuttle fleet consists of two 14-passenger vans, running in a concurrent loop to allow stops every 15 minutes at three locations - Rock Ledge Ranch Historic Site, the Garden of the Gods Visitor & Nature Center and the intersection of Gateway Road and Juniper Way Loop, where a trail goes into the Central Garden.
As the service started, a free, temporary shuttle parking lot was still being built at the north end of Rock Ledge's existing parking area southwest of 30th Street and Gateway Road. Preparing the lot is the
According to a company representative, the fencing and boards to mark parking lot spaces didn't arrive until the week before Memorial Day, so only 130 spaces were ready as of May 26. But 400 spaces is the eventual plan.
The firm has also built a turnaround for the bus at Gateway and Juniper Way Loop, where people can get on and off.
The shuttle operation is being run by Adventures Out West, a private company that already offers jeep, Segway and trolley tours through the Garden.
A shuttle was suggested in a transportation study commissioned by Colorado Springs Parks and the Garden of the Gods Foundation, which owns and operates the Visitor Center just outside the park at 1805 N. 30th St. The study pointed to issues with parking and traffic congestion in the Garden, especially in the summer.
City officials have said they would consider a shuttle to take people throughout the Garden - not just along Gateway Road - if the shuttle this summer works out well.
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