Project goal: Offer an eco-friendly alternative to driving for quick trips in Yosemite Valley, while reducing road and parking-lot congestion.
Why this work matters: Traffic jams are a frequent occurrence in Yosemite Valley during the busy summer months, with cars inching toward parking spots, campgrounds and trailheads. The Yosemite Bike Share offers a way to help reduce the number of cars on the roads — and a way for visitors to get around while the park shuttle isn’t operating due to the coronavirus pandemic: two-wheeled, people-powered transit!
The Yosemite Bike Share launched in 2018 as a Conservancy-funded pilot designed to help people get around the Valley in the summer without having to get in their cars. Instead of relying on vehicles for quick errands, such as picking up supplies in Yosemite Village, bike-share users can use a mobile app to unlock a bicycle, cruise on flat paths, and avoid crowded roads and parking areas. Over the past two years, the bike-share team has worked to evaluate and improve the program, by gathering user feedback, upgrading the mobile app, and refining bike pickup and drop-off locations.
2020 Update: Your gifts funded an innovative approach to addressing traffic congestion in Yosemite Valley by providing a fun, environmentally friendly alternative to driving. For the 2020 season, the Yosemite Bike Share team set up new bike pick-up/drop-off kiosks in Yosemite Village (which offer better cell phone reception than prior locations); hired two attendants to monitor the kiosks and help visitors; and added “Sanitized” and “Used” areas to ensure the bikes and helmets were cleaned between each use, as a COVID-19 precaution. With the usual Yosemite Valley shuttles not operating in 2020, due to the pandemic, the bike share proved to be a useful way for people to make short trips quickly and easily, and total number of rides nearly tripled from 2019.
Want to try the bike share on your next summer visit? Download the Yosemite Bike Share app for iOs or Android, then look for the dockless bicycles at two locations: the day-use parking area near Yosemite Village, and between the Valley Visitor Center and Wilderness Center. Don’t forget to put on the helmet that comes with your bike (or bring your own)!
Project partner: Yosemite National Park.