Year of Award


Document Type


Degree Type

Master of Science (MS)

Degree Name

Recreation Management

Department or School/College

College of Forestry and Conservation

Committee Chair

Wayne Freimund

Commitee Members

Dusten Hollist, Libby Covelli Metcalf, Douglas Dalenberg


Glacier National Park, Elaboration Likelihood Model of Persuasion, Theory of Planned Behavior, Indirect Management, Alternative Transportation, Recreation, National Park Service


University of Montana


Glacier National Park instituted an optional, free shuttle system on the Going-to-the-Sun Road in 2007.It was recently discovered that the shuttle system was having an adverse impact on parking congestion at the Logan Pass parking lot. This was occurring because visitors were able to park at Logan Pass all day while they performed a looped hike from the Highline trailhead to the Loop trailhead. Upon completion of their hike, visitors would take the shuttle back to their vehicles. A variety of data suggests that the shuttle system may be inadvertently adding 40-60 day-long passenger vehicles to the Logan Pass parking area as a result of this phenomenon. In order to alleviate management issues in protected areas, managers typically employ two types of management techniques: indirect or direct management. Direct management typically calls for placing direct constraints on visitor behavior while indirect management employs a more subtle approach which typically consists of persuasive messaging. Visitors typically prefer indirect management because it preserves a sense of freedom. This study tested the effectiveness of indirect management in increasing optional shuttle use among St. Mary Campground and Rising Sun Campground occupants. It was surmised that if the technique was shown to be effective at increasing shuttle use among a target population it could be useful at alleviating the problem described above. The present study constructed a persuasive message that was guided by the theory of planned behavior, elaboration likelihood model of persuasion, research pertaining to alternative transportation in National Parks, and research pertaining to the effectiveness of indirect management in recreation settings. Results suggested that the brochure was ineffective at increasing shuttle use and the researcher concludes by recommending that the park use a direct form of management to alleviate the problem described in this paper. Furthermore, contrary to suggestions provided in prior research, this study suggests that providing messages to increase shuttle use will not be effective at increasing optional shuttle ridership. The researcher suggests that if managers want to increase use on park shuttles they should first examine constraints, incentives and disincentives pertaining to shuttle use in order to understand the barriers concerning shuttle ridership.



© Copyright 2014 Alex Benjamin Weinberg