Garden of the Gods: Shuttle Service Plan
(City of Colorado Springs photo)
Located within Colorado Springs, CO, Garden of the Gods Park is owned and managed by the City of Colorado Springs with support from the Garden of the Gods Foundation. The Park was designated a National Natural Landmark by the National Park Service in 1971 and is characterized by vertical red rock geological formations of different shapes, sizes, and colors. Visitors coming to the park frequent its many attractions and services, including the Park’s Visitor and Nature Center, the Trading Post, and a variety of tours and excursions offered with Adventures Out West and other providers. Attracting up to six million visitors each year, it is the region’s most popular destination.
In recent years, as visitation has risen, the City has witnessed high congestion, particularly on summer weekends. This congestion has led to vehicle queueing outside the entrance gate to the main parking lot, a distance of about one mile. Concerned about safety and visitor experience, the City was interested in managing the rising congestion by exploring the feasibility of implementing a shuttle system during the peak season.
The City’s Parks, Recreation, and Cultural Services Department requested the assistance of Volpe’s Public Lands Team to develop preliminary concepts for a shuttle system to be implemented in 2018. Volpe began its work in summer 2017 and concluded with a report in early 2019. The report provides an analysis of visitation trends and visitor survey responses followed by a presentation of three shuttle concepts for consideration, including a vehicle recommendation and preliminary cost estimates. The report concludes with considerations and proposed next steps.
The report includes three addendums:
- A detailed recommendation for a pilot Gateway Road Circulator shuttle route
- A description and findings from a March 2018 public meeting about the shuttle study and pilot shuttle concepts
- An analysis of ridership data for the 2018 pilot shuttle season
Read the January 2019 final report: Garden of the Gods Shuttle Study: Visitation Trends and Service Planning.