When Reds Meadow Road opens for the summer season and shuttles begin to bring visitors down into the area around Devils Postpile National Monument, things will be a little different. Eastern Sierra Transit has announced that it will operate 11 new buses with better features.
For one, there will be more bicycle capacity. Only a handful of shuttles in the previous fleet had bicycle racks, which had room for two bikes. Now every shuttle will have a bicycle rack with room for three.
There's about six and a half miles of paved road (no mountain bike riding on trails allowed here) available to cyclists along Reds Meadow Road past the Minaret Vista Station. Because there's a 2,000-foot elevation drop, some cyclists may want to ride down, but catch a shuttle back up, which is an available service, but a round trip ticket must still be purchased (credit cards can be used if bought in advance at Mammoth Mountain's Adventure Center where other visitors catch the shuttle. Passes can also be purchased from the driver for a ride back with cash only).
Day passes cost $7 for adults and $4 for children, 3 to 15 years old. Children under two are free. Shuttles run every 20 minutes or less between 10 a.m. and 4 p.m and every 45 minutes or less from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. and 4 p.m. to 7 p.m. 2012 service is expected to begin June 16.
Additional new features for the new shuttles that can carry 37 passengers include a low-floor design (one step and you're on board), expanded window area, a hands-free driver communication system, and mobility device access via a ramp. And as always, well-behaved dogs with muzzles are allowed to ride as well.
To learn more about Devils Postpile National Monument, watch this short video produced by KCET.
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