Planning and Zoning Approves Site Plan for Bandelier Shuttle Service Facility

Site Plan for a shuttle service facility for a shuttle to Bandelier National Monument. Source: Los Alamos County.

The Los Alamos County Planning and Zoning Commission has approved a site plan for a shuttle service facility for shuttles to Bandelier National Monument. The shuttle service facility will be located at the corner of State Road 4 and Rover across the street from the White Rock Visitor’s Center and Conoco gas station, on what is now a vacant lot. Areas for up to two food vendors will be reserved on the commercial zoned lot at 40 Rover Blvd. The vendors would have a cart, trailer or other vehicle type that would be used for preparing and selling food and drinks. It is anticipated that an RFP process will be used to select vendors.

In October 2011, Atomic City Transit ran a park and ride shuttle service for Bandelier National Monument. Bandelier had limited parking in the canyon before the Las Conchas Fire, but lost about half of that parking due to flood damage concerns. The county was asked to run a shuttle service during the Albuquerque Balloon Fiesta to allow visitors a chance to see the National Monument. The Rover property was paved with asphalt millings last Fall and parking spaces were delineated with paint. The service was very successful and now the County Council has approved a three year pilot program to run the service from March 1st through November 30th each year. The shuttles will start running at 9:00 am from White Rock to Bandelier with the last bus returning to White Rock at 6:00 pm. This year the program will begin June 1st. 

If successful, it is anticipated that the shuttle facility would be moved to the A-19 Tract near the new White Rock Visitor’s Center, pending Planning and Zoning Commission approval of a site plan amendement.

On February 28th, Los Alamos County Council approved the request to fund the shuttle for three years after Bandelier Superintended Jason Lott requested the shuttle service be continued. Last fall the shuttle service transported more than 9,000 visitors and almost half of them patronized the White Rock Tourist Information Center, which had 10 times its average visition for the same previous time frame. The buses are equipped with informational videos about Bandelier for the trip to the park, and with videos about Los Alamos and White Rock for the journey back.

Los Alamos County Council approved a cost of $264,810 to fund the shuttle through the end of fiscal year 2012, which ends June 30, 2012. Council also approved the purchase of a used bus for the service in an amount not to exceed $125,000. Council further directed staff to seek available grants to help fund the purchase of five electric vehicles for this shuttle service to Bandelier National Monument.


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