Valle, Arizona, United States
Tusayan, Arizona, United States
Grand Canyon National Park Dynamic Message Sign (DMS)/Highway Advisory Radio (HAR) Pilot Deployment/Evaluation
In the summer of 2008, the Grand Canyon National Park (GRCA) conducted a pilot shuttle bus program that offered visitors the option of car-free travel from Tusayan, Arizona, to the Canyon View Information Plaza. The pilot program was funded by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA) through the Alternative Transportation for Parks and Public Lands (ATPPL) Program with an award of $193,000. A key component of the pilot program was the deployment of a traveler information system to provide information needed by visitors to use the shuttle (such as shuttle location and availability, and where to buy entrance passes). The information system was deployed in the cities of Valle and Tusayan. It consisted of one Portable Dynamic Message Sign (PDMS), two Highway Advisory Radio (HAR) and two HAR static signs.
An independent evaluation of the pilot program evaluated the extent to which the presence of the traveler information signs (the PDMS and HAR) influenced shuttle ridership. To estimate the extent to which the signs affected ridership, the evaluators calculated a linear regression equation that expressed shuttle ridership as a function of the PDMS and HAR and traffic counts at the GRCA South Entrance.
The results suggested that the presence of the PDMS and HAR strongly increased visitor ridership, with the traveler information system having the effect of adding 368 shuttle passengers per day, an increase of 45.7 percent in shuttle ridership over that without the PDMS and HAR. The evaluation also determined that the pilot shuttle program provided a 250,000 vehicle-mile reduction and a 10,000 gallon fuel savings. Therefore, the presence of the PDMS and HAR resulted in a reduction of between 66,000 to 99,000 vehicle-miles driven and a fuel savings of between 2600 and 2800 gallons.
In summary, the pilot test demonstrated that the traveler information system significantly supported the goals of the shuttle program in alleviating traffic and parking congestion experienced at the GRCA during the summer peak season.