AEC Blog: Season Carpool Conclusions
Preferred Carpool Parking Program, Year One
New this season, the Alta Environmental Center spearheaded the Preferred Carpool Parking program, providing prime parking spots in the Wildcat base area to vehicles arriving with three or more persons. The goal of the program is to encourage carpooling by rewarding skiers with "VIP Parking" in the most desirable parking spots at the Wildcat base.
"The goal of the program, over the long term, is to change the behavior of Alta skiers,"—Maura Olivos Director of the Alta Environmental Center
Increasing carpooling in Little Cottonwood Canyon is one of the few tools Alta Ski Area has to combat congestion and excess vehicle emissions into the environment in the short term.
The Preferred Carpool Parking Program began on opening weekend and has run all day, every day throughout the season. Raw data was collected when possible, and adjustments to the number of parking spots were fluid from week-to-week.
So how did we skiers do? Let's take a quick look at the data we have available.
Overall Season Carpool Usage = 21.9%
For the season, 22% of all cars that parked in the Wildcat lot had 3+ occupants. skiers participated in the carpool program. This is a great start that we hope to build off of next winter.
Peak Daily Carpool % = 43.4% occupancy
Carpool participation rates saw two significant spikes on days when data was collected. Tuesday, January 22nd saw a carpool percentage at 43.4% of all vehicles. Saturday, March 16th clocked in at 38.7%.
Peak Daily Carpool Count
Speaking of March 16th, this Saturday saw the highest number of carpool participants. A record 279 vehicles arrived with three-or-more skiers. This peak number of vehicles, combined with the second-highest rate of participation, showed the potential for the program. Friday--Sunday, March 16--18, saw a season-high number of vehicles at Alta, two of those days saw carpool rates considerably higher than the season average.
Trending in the Wrong Direction?
Preferred Carpool Parking rates appear to be trending in the wrong direction as the season winds down. This could be a reflection of overall skier rates, or perhaps a reflection of skier habits as longer days lend to multi-activity days in the spring. Regardless, more could be done to influence skier behavior in the spring and during peak weeks mid-season.
What Do You Think of the Preferred Carpool Parking Program?
This is a new program and we are learning as we go. How are we doing? What changes should be made to the carpool program? We welcome (on-topic) constructive criticism in the comments section. Next year we are hopeful to team up with Snowbird and adopt their R.I.D.E. app that was launched this year.
Alta Ski Area and the Alta Environmental Center