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Alternative Transportation In The Parks

ATP Partners ATP Resources NPS National Transit Inventory
NPS ITS Inventory    


Alternative transportation systems (ATS) help park units minimize resource impacts where traffic volume on existing roadway infrastructure has reached or is over capacity. These systems are important to the National Park Service (NPS) and its visitors: they contribute to preserving resources, including improvements to air quality, sound scapes, and reduced wildlife/auto collisions. These systems also demonstrate leadership in using alternative transportation to reduce fossil fuel consumption and greenhouse gas emissions.

NPS passenger boardings are on par with mid-sized U.S. cities. NPS transit systems accommodated 26.9 million passenger boardings in CY2013.

NPS currently has 131 alternative transportation systems in 66 park units nationwide. The systems are provided through contractual, concession and/or partnership agreements. Twenty (15%) systems are owned and operated by the NPS, 84 (64%) are contracted by the NPS through concession contracts, 12 (9%) are operated by service contracts, and 15 (12%) are provided under cooperative agreements with public or private partners.

Alternative transportation systems in the NPS include a variety of vehicle types:

  • 62 (47%) are shuttle/bus/van/tram
  • 40 (31%) are boat/ferry
  • 14 (11%) are planes
  • 11 (8%) are snowcoaches
  • 4 (3%) are trains/trolley
  • 59.4% (165/271) of NPS-owned vehicles operate on alternative fuel, while 13% (89/656) of Non-NPS-owned vehicles operate on alternative fuel

Across the NPS, ATS vehicles are "rolling ambassadors," exemplifying the NPS commitment to enhancing the visitor experience.

The complete 2013 NPS National Transit Inventory is available for download as a .pdf here.