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It's no secret that Banff can get very busy on a summer day. Any visitor with a car needs only a few moments to be challenged by parking and traffic woes. Imagine what it's like for locals, many of whom live on the slopes of Sulphur Mountain, trying to drive over the Bow River bridge on a sunny afternoon in July!
This is why Pursuit's Banff Jasper Collection began offering free shuttles to the Banff Gondola in 2017—to lighten traffic in our hometown. The fact that it has also helped cut carbon emissions and eased the stress on the gondola's parking lot are bonuses.
August 2017 Total Entrance Vehicle Volumes were 844,850, a 7.1% increase from August 2016.
And even though 2017 was an incredibly busy summer in Banff—with all the celebrations around Canada's 150th birthday, there were 7.1 percent more vehicles in town than in 2016—vehicle volumes on Mountain Avenue (which goes from the far side of the Bow River Bridge up to the Gondola and Upper Hot Springs) decreased over the summer before.
In the heart of summer, early August, more than 5,000 cars drove on Mountain Avenue each day.
When the Town of Banff released the findings from its Vehicle Volume Report, a general easement of congestion was clear, thanks in part to the Banff Gondola's shuttle as well as efforts from ROAM Transit, Banff's public bus system.
"These impressive ridership results prove that we can effect real change when we work together and provide a convenient alternative to visitors,” said Banff Mayor Karen Sorensen. “The Town thanks Pursuit for its ongoing commitment to shifting visitors to sustainable transportation choices.”
August 2017 Total Mountain Avenue Vehicle Volumes were 176,580, a 0.3% decrease over August 2016.
For Pursuit, one of the largest employers in Banff, reducing carbon emissions is a key stewardship goal. Alleviating traffic woes is a key community effort that helps locals (including many team members) make the most of living in the Canadian Rockies.
“It was important for us to do our part in mitigating traffic congestion last summer in the town of Banff,” said Dave McKenna, President, Banff Jasper Collection by Pursuit. “We’re thrilled to see the statistics from this report that clearly show we, along with many of our key partners, have made a positive impact for our guests and for the local community.”
Pursuit also believes that the shuttle enhances visitors' experience by adding value to their Banff Gondola trip—not only do they begin to relax as soon as they board the free shuttle, they'll learn about the Banff Gondola en route and thus extend the overall visit.
The 56-passenger shuttles will run again throughout this summer and will depart from downtown Banff and the Fairmont Banff Springs Hotel every 20 minutes. For more information, see our 2019 shuttle schedule.
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