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Rocky Mountain National Park considers vehicle transponders, additional 'fast pass' lane

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Seeking a remedy to long lines of cars at its Beaver Meadows entrance, Rocky Mountain National Park officials are asking the public if it would pay a $15 fee to add another "fast pass" lane to the single existing one.

Rocky Mountain National Park is currently the only national park which utilizes a fast pass lane for visitors. It was installed in 2011.

However, that lane has been inoperable since 2019 when the national park system modified its annual and lifetime passes. The new cards do not activate the gate at the current fast pass lane. 

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The proposal also includes the use of vehicle transponders, small devices which would attach to the inside of windshields, and which would activate the gate without the physical swiping of a card through a card reader.

(credit: Rocky Mountain National Park)

Park officials are seeking to alleviate the stretch of vehicles that often reaches two miles in length at the Beaver Meadows entrance, the park's busiest. 

"In addition to visitor frustration, long lines of traffic also impede emergency service responses into and out of the park," the park stated in a press release

(credit: Rocky Mountain National Park)

Transponder gates are currently planned for installation at the park's Fall River entrance by the summer of 2023, and another at the park's western entrance near Grand Lake for spring 2024.

The proposed Beavers Meadows gate is tenatively planned for spring 2023, if approved. The park would recover the cost of the new system with a $15 expanded amenity fee. 

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The park is asking for public comment through the month of July. Comments can also be submitted by mail.

The proposed transponders are not removable nor transferrable between vehicles.

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