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Aramark

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Aramark

Postby markskor » Thu Jun 02, 2016 2:15 pm

Just now returned Tuolumne and Valley...some interesting news -
The last year's "free" hiker bus (Valley - TM) will now cost $14.50/pp - one way. YARTS ($9) is much cheaper.
The local TM shuttle - hiker drop-off bus (Olmsted Point - TM store) will now also have a nominal fee attached. No price announced yet, or how they will collect...
The Valley shuttle buses - Valley loop - seems less buses running - now only runs every 15 - 20 minutes in peak hours...every 30 on the off-hours...lots of disgruntled riders/ crowds on each stop.

First impression...Not so impressed with this new Aramark company...does not appear to be "hiker friendly."
Or maybe, they just don't understand Yosemite yet...sigh. :\
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Re: Aramark

Postby The Other Tom » Thu Jun 02, 2016 2:29 pm

I guess now we know how they made the lowest bid :(
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Re: Aramark

Postby AlmostThere » Thu Jun 02, 2016 7:37 pm

There was a free hiker bus?????

I paid for that years ago -- was DNC not supposed to charge?
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Re: Aramark

Postby LMBSGV » Thu Jun 02, 2016 9:57 pm

I have had mixed experience with Aramark. The people on the phone and who I directly interacted with have been friendly, knowledgeable, and quite helpful. The facilities, how things operate, and prices have been far less than even adequate.

I suggest we all keep track of our experiences with Aramark in Yosemite this year and write identical letters to Don Neaubacher (Yosemite Superintendent), Jonathan Jarvis (NPS Director) and Sally Jewel (Department of Interior) describing what occurred. It's the only way I can see to maybe force Aramark to improve their service. It's obviously already not what we want or even require.
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Re: Aramark

Postby austex » Fri Jun 03, 2016 6:21 am

Aramark (maybe a Marriott co in disguise) used to, or still does have the monopoly on airport concessions before Marriott took over. I remember dismal service by ballagoolas and high prices.
GREAT idea on the letters at the end of the season. Don't know what/how things would change; because a contract is a contract and they will have to run it out or buy them out. Unless they violate the terms; it's a contract.
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Re: Aramark

Postby longri » Fri Jun 03, 2016 7:32 am

markskor -- Do you know what the schedule for the no-longer-free bus will be?


AlmostThere -- It was new last year, or maybe the year before, I'm not sure. I think it was 2-3 runs per day in addition to YARTS.
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Re: Aramark

Postby markskor » Fri Jun 03, 2016 8:25 am

Talked with the Village transportation kiosk guy, (the one behind the Village store) yesterday. (BTW, was 101º in the Valley)...asked him same question. He looked in his big Daily transportation book...(lol...his bible he said), - was not there. He surmised that the bus not yet running...probably will start/coincide with water being turned on/TM campground opening ~ June 10th.
He looked further, found a memo stating prices but no mention of times...yet.
Stay tuned.
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Re: Aramark

Postby longri » Fri Jun 03, 2016 8:37 am

Thanks. It sounds like they don't even know what they're doing yet.

I tried using the NPS website public tranport page and it linked to a third party site and a dead end.
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Re: Aramark

Postby BSquared » Fri Jun 03, 2016 10:27 am

Thanks for keeping your eyes open, Mark! Good to have these insiders on the board...
—B²
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Re: Aramark

Postby longri » Fri Jun 03, 2016 2:57 pm

I just saw this post on another forum:

They plan to run once-a-day buses from the Valley to T.M. and back from June 10 - Sept 20.

The bus will depart the former Curry Village at 8:00 a.m, Yosemite Village at 8:05 a.m. and Yosemite Lodge at 8:20 a.m.

Returning from Tuolumne, the bus will stop at the Tuolumne Meadows Lodge, and at the T.M. Store in the early afternoon, around 2. Ish.


So the mid-summer bus options appear to be 8am (Aramark) or 5pm (YARTS) from the Valley and 10am (YARTS) or 2pm (Aramark) from TM.
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Re: Aramark

Postby AnaG » Fri Jun 03, 2016 5:51 pm

I had the opportunity to chat with one of the main guys in charge of transportation throughout the park (free and paid shuttles, YARTS once it enters the park, and most of the park vehicle maintanence as well). He wasn't very clear about any of it, but a few things I was able to figure out (also, don't quote me on this because the conversation was a couple of weeks ago):

-This guy used to contract through NPS, but then he changed over to DNC about a month before it changed hands. Now he's with the new concessionaire. Same people running the transportation, but with less red tape.

-The old TM hikers bus was losing money. The $14 fee is if you ride all the way from the Valley to the end of TM. Supposedly the price varies with your destination.

-Also supposedly (haven't seen anything to prove this yet) the TM shuttle will be a Tioga Pass shuttle running from Crane Flat to TM. It will be shutting down each evening at 7ish. There might also be a charge for that. I think he said $2.

Anyways. I have yet to see any info from Yosemite about this. Then again, they didn't post anything about the Glacier Point shuttle either...
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Re: Aramark

Postby longri » Fri Jun 03, 2016 6:05 pm

AnaG wrote:The old TM hikers bus was losing money.

Old? It was like a year old.

All free shuttles lose money. They require funding from another source, something we all pay into (like entrance fees or taxes). The benefit, even if you don't ride the shuttle yourself, is that there are fewer cars on the road. I've gotten the impression that YNP wants to reduce personal automobile use in the park. But they don't always seem to be acting in a way that is consistent with that goal.

Many times over the years, looking at the limited public transportation options, we have driven from the SF Bay Area to Yosemite and the eastern Sierra to do point-to-point hikes in two cars -- even when there were only two of us.

I don't really mind paying the money, obviously. Driving is more expensive. It's just that buying a ticket is another delay and another reason to limit the number of buses and pinch the schedule down to where it is worthwhile to a more limited number of people.

The tentative schedule for the new hiker bus is worthless to me in 2016. I'll be driving instead.
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