Free Bus Rides Through Park

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If you plan to visit the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area in the Poconos this summer, you can save on gas.

Park officials and the Monroe County Transit Authority are partnering up for a third year to give you a free lift.

For the third summer season, the national park and the Monroe County Transit Authority will be offering free bus rides to park visitors on weekends and holidays starting Memorial Day Weekend through Labor Day.

"It's a great way to help people use the park and see different parts of the park without needing a vehicle to do it," said Richard Schlameuss of the Monroe County Transit Authority.

The free bus service is part of a program funded by a federal grant.

The goal is to reduce traffic congestion while giving visitors a free lift to several sites in the park.  Those sites include hiking trails, picnic areas and river access points.  Visitors will also get picked up when they are done enjoying the park for free.

"They can come from New York or New Jersey with their kayak or canoe on their vehicle and park it in one spot. Let's say the Delaware Water Gap Park, across from the Welcome Center and use our service. Then, get driven all the way up to Milford and drop their boat in, float down to the point they want to, get out and we bring them back to their vehicle," said Schlameuss.

A total of seven buses will be looping through the park from Milford in Pike County to Delaware Water Gap in Monroe County.  Each bus will have a trailer attached to carry your kayak, canoe and bicycle.

Park officials believe it's a win-win for them, making the park more accessible not only to out-of-state tourists but residents who are looking to go on a "staycation" while saving a few bucks.

"It's opening a lot of recreational opportunities in the area to be able to get to the park and be able to use our park resources," said Kathleen Sandt, a park ranger with the Delaware Water Gap National Recreation Area.

The free bus rides will be available each weekend and on holidays starting Memorial Day weekend and go until Labor Day.

Buses will run from 6 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. from Delaware Water Gap to Milford and back.