Recent years have seen Yosemite inundated with traffic. Families plan their trips and travel from far distances to visit this magnificent area only to be stuck in bumper-to-bumper traffic and find themselves circling lots for hours looking for an elusive parking space.
The Yosemite Area Regional Transportation System – or YARTS as it is mostly known – is public transit service that has been taking the stress out of driving to the park for two decades. Coach buses traverse four corridors through six surrounding counties bringing tens of thousands of visitors into the park every year. Travelers come from all over California, the United States and more than 100 countries.
YARTS provides convenient connection service to individuals traveling by air, train and bus. Passengers on United Airlines flying into Fresno, Mammoth Lakes or Stockton have their YARTS fare included in their ticket and must simply show their boarding pass to a YARTS driver to ride. A similar arrangement is in place for Amtrak passengers who travel into Fresno, Mammoth Lakes or Merced stations and for Greyhound Bus passengers who connect in Merced or Fresno terminals. More than 1.5 million riders have enjoyed the YARTS experience so far, and we hope you’ll join them soon.
Multiple YARTS Stops
If you’re traveling by car, the buses make stops along four routes into the park. Here they are:
- Hwy. 120/395 starting in Mammoth Lakes on the east side of the park.
- Hwy. 120 starting in Sonora to the west of the park
- Hwy. 41 originating in Fresno.
- Hwy. 140 starting in Merced.
Along the way to the park, YARTS has stops at designated park and ride lots, campgrounds and RV parks. All passengers are required to wear a mask on the bus and if they do not have one, they will be given one by YARTS.
YARTS staff recommends showing up at the YARTS stop early to beat the crowds and to ensure your watch is in sync with the YARTS drivers’ atomic clocks. The bus drivers don’t leave a stop until their clocks hit the scheduled departure time. Before boarding, you can load any strollers, backpacks, bikes or luggage into the stowage area.
Once aboard the air-conditioned bus equipped with a restroom, you can even strap your baby car seat into a three-point seat belt. YARTS was the first public transportation agency in the country to use three-point seat belts.
Ride Free Park Shuttle
As you enter the park, YARTs buses get to use the “bus-only” lane when park traffic is heavy, which means less time for you in a vehicle and more time outdoors in the park. Once you’re in the Yosemite Valley, you can get to where you want to go by taking the free park shuttle. It serves the valley, El Capitan, Tuolumne Meadows (in the summer) and Badger Pass Ski Area, recently known as the Yosemite Ski and Snowboard Area, (in winter). Without having to worry about where to park at trailheads or visitor centers, you can maximize your time in the park.
And at the end of the day, you don’t have to worry about the drive home.
For more information:
For more information about YARTS, ticket prices, or the seasonal schedules, please visit www.yarts.com or call (877) 989-2787. Updates on YARTS schedules can also be found on Facebook and Twitter by searching for @rideyarts.
YARTS is a California Joint Powers Authority comprised of Merced, Mariposa and Mono Counties in partnership with Caltrans, Federal Highway Administration, National Park Service and the United States Forest Service. The Merced County Association of Governments provides staff services and operational support for YARTS.