There may never be a single solution to Tahoe’s traffic congestion, but we’re committed to doing our part to improve your arrival experience and the general flow of traffic on SR-89 for everyone traveling through the region. Although it’s just getting underway, our new parking reservation system is already showing what’s possible and is having a positive effect.
HOW IT’S GOING
The last weekend of the holiday season (Jan. 6-7, 2024) presented the program’s first true “test,” and was immediately followed by the MLK holiday weekend. The season’s first significant snowfall (both weekends) brought winter driving conditions, the excitement that comes with powder days, and complete booking of all free and paid parking reservations this season. Speed was tempered by the road conditions, however traffic did not stop, was never gridlocked, and no cars were turned away at the resort.
CHP Truckee said this about the flow of weekend traffic on SR-89:
“As in years past, the CHP Truckee Area remains committed to assisting with traffic flow and was pleased to see travel times on SR-89 show noticeable improvements over prior-year holiday weekends. The CHP continues to support proactive initiatives that improve safety and reduce congestion for the motoring public.”
While there were still some who drove to the resort without a reservation, we are encouraged by the fact that 98% of the cars parked had a reservation. There was also increased use of free Park & Ride shuttle services offered from locations in Truckee and Tahoe City. In fact, over the Jan. 6-7 weekend, almost 400 people used it – a tremendous increase compared to the 32 riders the service saw all year a few seasons back.
And, in response to your feedback, we implemented a change to our cancellation policy for day-of reservations. To accommodate busy mornings on dynamic weather days, we changed our cancellation time from 8 a.m. to 9 a.m. This will allow more time for those with reservations who decide not to visit the resort to cancel, while still providing those who do not have a reservation an opportunity to book a last minute spot.
We know most people want to be part of the solution, not the problem, so we will continue to remind you to make parking reservations on weekends and holidays (it takes less than a minute, and most spots are free!) or find alternative ways to get to the resort.
GETTING TO THE RESORT ON WEEKENDS & HOLIDAYS THROUGH MARCH 31
As a reminder, here’s what to know about new parking reservation requirements and the easiest ways to get here this winter:
Make a Parking Reservation
Parking reservations are required on Saturdays, Sundays and holidays before 1 p.m. Most spots are free, others are paid. Free reservations are released every Tuesday for the upcoming weekend/holiday. Reserve online at parkpalisadestahoe.com.
If you have a reservation and know you won’t be visiting, be a good human and please cancel in advance of your reservation date and free up a spot for someone else. You now have until 9 a.m. day of to avoid a violation.
Use Free Park & Ride
Park in Truckee or Tahoe City and take a free shuttle to Palisades Tahoe every Saturday and Sunday through March 31. View the schedule here.
Hop on Mountaineer
Staying in Olympic Valley or Alpine Meadows? Use Mountaineer’s free on-demand service for door-to-door service anywhere in the valley.
To get from lakeside communities or Truckee to Palisades Tahoe, TART Connect riders can transfer to mainline TART buses which run routes to the resort hourly. View route schedules online and download the Transit app for real-time arrival estimates.
Ride on a Ski Bus
Ditch the hassle of driving and catch a ride to the resort on a bus from Sacramento or the Bay Area. Riders receive exclusive discounts on lift tickets and can kick back and enjoy free Wi-Fi on their journey. View schedules and pick-up locations.
BE PART OF THE SOLUTION, NOT THE PROBLEM
For parking and transportation initiatives to succeed and make it easier to get here, active participation is essential. Making parking reservations, utilizing park & ride, carpooling with a reserved spot, or choosing free public transportation to the resort can benefit everyone.
Penalties will be enforced for those who show up without a reservation on weekends and holidays before 1 p.m. Violations start at $100 and if not paid within 10 days, increase to $200. Subsequent violations are subject to increasing penalties including season pass suspension and tow. No shows are being recorded and multiple instances will result in the license plate being blocked from making reservations for the remainder of the season.
We are committed to reducing traffic congestion in our community, and we will continue our focus on finding and implementing solutions and refining those in place.
Learn more and make parking reservations at parkpalisadestahoe.com.