Did Glacier’s New Ticket System Help Out With Traffic This Year?
This past summer, I took my family out to Glacier National Park, which meant I had to contend with the stresses of reserving a ticket with their new ticketing system for Going-To-The-Sun Road - I documented that experience right here, and I still remember refreshing my computer furiously at 8 AM two days before trying to make that reservation. I know they opened up more reservations as the season went on, so hopefully the experience became a little less stressful over time.
But the real question is - did the new ticketing system actually help ease the flow of traffic on Going-To-The-Sun Road this year?
Based on the numbers for this past season, it looks like the answer is yes - at least at first. There are a lot of conflicting numbers at play, and the park needs to work to compare this year's performance to how it's been for the past few years. But it does seem like things ran a little more smoothly than they usually do (even if the park had to turn away about one in every five cars at the West Glacier and St. Mary gates because they didn't have a ticket).
But it looks like the ticketed entry was a big help at the peak entry and exit times for Going-To-The-Sun Road, and allowed them to keep the West Entrance gate open (they estimate they'd have had to close it about 35 times this season if not for the new ticketing system).
So now, Glacier National Park is going to review the system, how it worked, and see what improvements could be made for next season. If you went to Glacier this summer, what did you think of the new ticketing system for Going-To-The-Sun Road?