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Thread: Transportation changes for the 2021 Sierra Hiking Season

  1. #1
    http://www.spiritsofsilver.com tgtaylor's Avatar
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    Transportation changes for the 2021 Sierra Hiking Season

    In my inbox this morning:


    Transportation changes for the 2021 Sierra Hiking Season
    Date: Mon, 26 Apr 2021 19:56:01 PDT

    COVID service reductions for 2021:

    There will not be any Yosemite Free Valley shuttle, Glacier Point Tour Bus (concessionaire),

    Tuolumne Meadows Hikers Bus (concessionaire), Tuolumne Meadows shuttle (NPS) in Yosemite.

    2. The Sequoia Shuttle will not operate from Visalia to Sequoia NP, but there will be limited in-park

    shuttles.

    3. Mammoth Lakes airport will not have any scheduled airline service this hiking season.

    4. Amtrak San Joaquins are still limited to 4 round trips per day Oakland to Bakersfield, Sacramento

    connections provided by bus. There is some possibility that more service will be restored during the

    hiking season. Amtrak long distance trains (Coast Starlight, Southwest Chief, California Zephyr) will

    resume daily service in late May.

    5. A crucial Greyhound run from Reno/Sparks to Sacramento and San Francisco that connected well

    from the ESTA Reno bus is still not operating.

    6. Right now, you can’t book the last San Joaquin train from Bakersfield/Fresno/Merced each day into

    Richmond, because BART is closing the Richmond station at 9pm and the train arrives after that time.

    Expect BART to expand it’s service hours at some point soon, so check back on this one.

    7. The Gray Line tour bus from San Francisco to Yosemite is available, but on light travel days they are

    sometimes combining with other tour operators to run one combined bus, which could be confusing if you

    are trying to take the return bus from Yosemite to San Francisco in the afternoon.

    8. Sources tell me that many rental car agencies in Ridegecrest have closed down temporarily.

    Virtually all other transport providers have cut back operations, some are starting to bring back hours and

    runs as COVID restrictions relax.

    Service restorations:

    The Red’s Meadow Shuttle, although not for certain, appears as though it will run this summer.

    ESTA’s Bishop Creek shuttle is going to operate.

    Service Changes:

    The ESTA stop in Reno/Sparks has been changed from outside Centennial Transit Plaza to inside the

    Centennial Transit Plaza. ESTA also stops at the Reno Airport.

    Seasonal Dates of Service for 2021:

    ESTA Bishop Creek Shuttle – June 12th – September 6th

    YARTS 120/395 service – June 15th to October 15th

    YARTS Hwy 41 service – May 10th to September 10th

    YARTS 120/Sonora Service – May 17th to September 30th

    Red’s Meadow Shuttle – start date TBD to September 8th

    New services:

    Southwest Airlines began flying into Fresno in April. This is useful for getting to Yosemite and

    Sequoia.

    2. Avelo Airlines will begin flying out of Burbank before the season starts, they will primarily fly to

    smaller cities in the intermountain west using an ultra-low-cost-carrier business model, with not-

    necessarily-daily service to places like Eugene, Bozeman, Ogden, Santa Rosa, Redding, Eureka,

    Medford, Redmond, Phoenix, Grand Junction. They will be pricing cafeteria style ala Frontier/Spirit – baggage fees, seat selection fees, carryon fees, fee fees, etc. Could be useful for some hikers for access/egress to/from the southern Sierras.

    3. Alaska Airlines, in response to the Avelo startup, is adding service from Burbank to Santa Rosa, which may be useful at the southern end of the Sierras for residents of the Santa Rosa environs..

    4. Some of the San Joaquin Thruway buses are now available as bus only rides. Previously, you had to

    include a rail portion as part of your itinerary. This is particularly useful for getting to Las Vegas.

    Although the connecting times aren’t the most convenient, you can now take ESTA to Mojave and then

    the Amtrak Thruway to Las Vegas. Additional Thruway routes may allow bus-only travel as COVID

    capacity restrictions are relaxed.

    5. At some point during the hiking season, a new San Joaquin train Thruway bus service between San

    Jose and Madera Amtrak may be initiated. Schedule has not been published, not sure if it will be useful

    for hikers, it may be oriented towards commuters going to San Jose in the morning, out from San Jose in the afternoon. Also not known is if this route will allow bus-only itineraries, but it is a short hop on the San Joaquin train to either Fresno or Merced anyway. This was originally planned for 2020.

    6. Eastern Sierra Shuttle Service out of Lone Pine (not to be confused with the great guys as East Side

    Sierra Shuttle of Independence) is making a renewed effort to make their service more available. Like

    East Side, they are fully permitted and legit both PUC and Inyo NF.

    7. East Side Sierra Shuttle out of Independence (not be to confused with the fine folks at Eastern Sierra

    Shuttle Service of Lone Pine) is upgrading to do most of their runs with electric vehicles using low-

    carbon solar and wind power for charging.

    Thomas

  2. #2

    Join Date
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    Re: Transportation changes for the 2021 Sierra Hiking Season

    Good information!
    I steal time at 1/125th of a second, so I don't consider my photography to be Fine Art as much as it is petty larceny.
    I'm not OCD. I'm CDO which is alphabetically correct.

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