YARTS Fresno to Yosemite line starts Saturday

FRESNO, Calif. (KFSN) -- Yosemite sees some four million visitors a year, and not all of them drive in.

Some use YARTS, the public transit option. But up until now, there hasn't been a direct line from Fresno to the park. Those behind the major public transit project gave it a ride Wednesday.

"So this is the last piece of the puzzle if you will," said Yosemite Spokesman Scott Gediman.

The public can hop on starting Saturday, from the Amtrak station or four other Fresno locations.

"So anytime we can get people out of their single occupant automobile into public transit, save emissions, (it) improves our air quality, wear and tear on the roads, that kind of thing. So yeah it's a good day," said Fresno Council of Governments' Executive Director Tony Boren.

Nichole Vang says it's been years since she's been to Yosemite. But for thirty bucks, she says she'll start planning a YARTS trip for her family this summer.

"We're like 'Oh we all can't fit in the car,'" said Vang. "Well what if we can all go as a family...we have family visiting from out of town, we can all go together. That'd be fun."

It's an ideal service for families, and perhaps a necessary one for Fresno State students required to go for class-the Fresno State campus is another pickup location.

"I had a friend recently that didn't have a car, so she had to get friends to take her to Yosemite," said Fresno State Junior Emily McCrone.

Another stop is Fresno Yosemite International Airport, and officials say it will be a different dynamic for inbound travelers on their way to the park.

"With the new YARTS service, passengers will have a seamless transit from aircraft, to Yosemite Valley, through Fresno Yosemite Airport," said airport spokesperson Vikkie Calderon.

"We even have a couple of airline crews that when they stay (here) they end up having one or two days and they want to do a rental car but that's just not feasible for one person, so YARTS up here would be great,' said Piccadilly Inn Sales Manager Bridget Carpenter.
This is a two year pilot program. Riders can buy tickets directly from the bus driver using cash or credit card.

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