YART bus service will soon stop year round service

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YART bus service from Fresno to Yosemite National Park will end by the end of this September and start back up next year. (KFSN)

Yosemite National Park sees millions of visitors a year, and several thousands of those visitors use YART's bus service to get there. Now, after a little more than a year of operating, the bus service from Fresno to the national park is stopping their year round service.

"We don't have enough to run it year round, but we do have enough to run it on that seasonal service," said Tony Boren, Fresno Council of Governments.

The newly added route began in May of last year and has five other daily stops. Next year it only plans to run from May to September. Boren said more than half of the route's funding comes from federal dollars and was only supposed to be used for the first two years of the service. He said now they're just trying to stretch their dollars.

"We had to figure out how to keep running this service without that funding stream. In order to do that, we're cutting the service down and that allows us to stretch out the money a little bit further, using the existing funding sources."

The village is one of YART's stops. Riders can stop for a bite to eat or shopping. But with the shorter schedule, business owners said they may not see as many visitors.

"A lot of people were coming up and visiting the village and not having to drive their cars. So it seems as it was just getting going and now they're having to cut back, and I think it might affect all of us up here in the mountains a little bit," said Diane Boland, Coarsegold Historic Village Operator.

Scott Gideman, a spokesperson for the national park, said it's unfortunate the 41 corridor bus service can't operate year round. He also said any bus service helps with park traffic.

"We're going to keep looking for any potential funding service to keep buses going in the corridor because it's just incredibly beneficial to the residents and visitors and park."

Boren said they're hoping to receive more funding from one of the route's revenues sources to have it back on a year-round schedule in the future.

"More people will continue to come here, so the challenge of the demand will be there."

Boren adds that none of the other YART routes are expected to change.

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