- Collum, Kourtney Kristen
University of Maine Graduate School
This thesis examines potential strategies for increasing voluntary shuttle use at Rocky Mountain National Park (ROMO) and the gateway community of Estes Park, Colorado. The first chapter of this two-part study evaluates the impact of a pilot intelligent transportation system (ITS) on visitor awareness and use of shuttles during the summer of 2011. Two forms of ITS, dynamic message signs (DMS) and highway advisory radio (HAR), were evaluated. Specifically the ITS was meant to influence day-visitors to park at a new park-and-ride lot just east of Estes Park where they could then board a connector shuttle and transfer to any of four shuttle routes servicing the town and park. Surveys were administered on board the park-and-ride shuttle (N=68) and at two locations in downtown Estes Park (N=490). Our analysis revealed that the DMS contributed to increased awareness of the shuttles. However, the HAR did not contribute substantially to awareness or use of the visitor shuttles. Our analysis offers additional recommendations for increasing voluntary shuttle use, such as providing direct routes between the park-and-ride and popular park attractions. The results of this study demonstrate the utility of ITS as a transportation management tool in a national park setting, but also highlight the importance of selecting appropriate technologies that meet the needs of park visitors.
The second chapter explores strategies for optimizing the use of ITS by applying the theory of planned behavior to identify the beliefs that inform choice of travel mode among ROMO and Estes Park visitors. Using results of a mail survey (N=222), the theory of planned behavior was applied to the prediction of intention and use of visitor shuttles. Perceived behavioral control was found to have a significant influence on intention to use shuttles. Our study broadens the application of segmentation analysis to transportation in a park setting and demonstrates its important contribution.