Visitors will have a greater number of options for getting around in America’s national parks and on other public lands, thanks to $24.8 million in federal funding announced on Tuesday by the Federal Transit Administration (FTA).
National parks, forests and wildlife refuges in 20 states will receive funds from the Paul S. Sarbanes Transit in Parks Program to implement public transportation within the facilities.
“As Franklin Roosevelt said, ‘There is nothing so American as our national parks,’” said U.S. Transportation Sec. Ray LaHood. “The national parks are American treasures, and Transit in Parks funding will make these national treasures more accessible and enjoyable to everyone.”
The U.S. National Park Service, the U.S. Forest Service, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service will receive funds for 46 projects ranging from new diesel buses at Yosemite National Park in California to ferry improvements at Gulf Island National Seashore in Florida, and visitor shuttle buses in Mount Rainier National Park to bus stop improvements in Arcadia National Park in Maine.
Funding to federal land management agencies is administered through reimbursable interagency agreements, and funding to state, local, and tribal recipients is administered like any other FTA grant.
“By reducing traffic, Transit in Parks will help preserve the splendor of the national parks experience and protect our country’s natural resources,” said FTA Administrator Peter Rogoff. “The program also improves visitor mobility and ensures access to all, including persons with disabilities.”
Congress established the Paul S. Sarbanes Transit in Parks Program to enhance the protection of national parks and federal lands and increase the enjoyment of those visiting them.
Administered by the FTA in partnership with the Department of the Interior and the Forest Service, the program funds capital and planning expenses for alternative transportation systems, such as shuttle buses and bicycle trails in national parks and public lands. The goals of the program are to conserve natural, historical and cultural resources, and reduce congestion and pollution.
A complete list of projects and their descriptions can be found at Transit in Parks Summaries.