YARTS (Yosemite Area Regional Transportation System) plans to shut down the bus transportation system from Fresno to Yosemite on Sept. 30, with service planned to resume in May. YARTS provides public transit in the Yosemite region, with buses entering Yosemite Valley from Merced, Mammoth Lakes, Sonora, and (beginning Summer 2015) Fresno—as well as many different towns along the way. YARTS began service in May 2000, and now provides an alternative to driving to nearly 100,000 riders per year. YARTS is managed by the Merced County Association of Governments.
Sierra Star reports:
With the addition of Highway 41 last year, all four main entrances to the park had YARTS service. Highway 120 East over Tioga Pass operates only during summer months, 120 West from Sonora and Groveland went online two years ago, and Highway 140 from Merced and Mariposa has been operating for more than 15 years. The recent decision only affects the Highway 41 route.
First proposed in 1992, YARTS was designed as a way to reduce traffic and increase accessibility to Yosemite National Park. In May 2000, after 8 years of planning, the bus line officially commenced service in Yosemite’s neighboring communities. To date, the Yosemite Area Regional Transportation System has provided over 1,000,000 rides.
On May 23, 2015, YARTS began operating on Highway 41 between Fresno and Yosemite. The bus service currently makes five round-trip a day, picking up riders at the Fresno-Yosemite International (FYI) Airport, Amtrak and Greyhound stations, Fresno State, and the Highway 41-145 Park and Ride, Coarsegold, Oakhurst, and Fish Camp before entering Yosemite. Although they initially offered the service year-round, it’s no longer financially possible to do so.