February 20, 2013

$12.5M awarded to improve access to national parks, forests

U.S. Transportation Secretary Ray LaHood announced $12.5 million in grants for 29 projects in 20 states to improve access to America’s national parks, forests and wildlife refuges.

The selected projects will help reduce traffic congestion and make it easier for millions of visitors to enjoy the nation’s scenic federal lands. The funds are provided through the Federal Transit Administration’s (FTA) Paul S. Sarbanes Transit in Parks program, which awarded $40.8 million for similar projects in January 2012.

A map and a complete list of projects can be found here.

Secretary LaHood, U.S. Department of the Interior Secretary Ken Salazar and FTA Administrator Peter Rogoff traveled to Commerce City, Colo., to announce a $1,735,000 grant to expand the Rocky Mountain Greenway, a pedestrian and bicycle trail system that will connect the Denver metropolitan area’s trail systems, three National Wildlife Refuges in the region and Rocky Mountain National Park.

Secretary LaHood and Administrator Rogoff also visited Glacier National Park in West Glacier, Mont., to announce a $250,000 program grant for new, fuel-efficient buses to continue providing free shuttle service for park visitors, which helps to reduce traffic congestion along the park’s 50-mile road.

The funds announced are part of $80 million distributed to 134 Transit in the Parks projects across the country over the last three years. This grant program was not reauthorized under the Moving Ahead for Progress in the 21st Century Act, which was passed by Congress last year.

Going forward, public transportation projects serving national parks and other federal lands remain eligible for funding under the Federal Lands Transportation Program administered by the Federal Highway Administration.

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