Roads, Parkways, and Bridges
Park roads, parkways, and bridges are the NPS transportation system's backbone and enable visitors to tour by automobile, bus, bike, or trolley. Park roads frequently link to other modes of transportation-water ferries, trains, and trails-both in and outside the parks. When integrated with the transportation networks of gateway communities, the parks' transportation services provide visitors with seamless access, and frequently improve the mobility and quality of life of local residents.
Park units are found in diverse locations, from remote areas to urban settings, and in all of the country's climatic zones. The 398 Park units cover more than 84 million acres (more than 3.5% of the nation's total area) and are located in every state except Delaware.
Alternative Transportation Systems
Alternative transportation systems (ATS) help parks minimize resource impacts where traffic volume on existing roadway infrastructure has reached or is over capacity. Alternative transportation systems are important to the NPS and its visitors for a number of reasons that support the mission of the agency. Alternative transportation systems contribute to preserving resources, including improvements to air quality, soundscapes, reduced wildlife/auto collisions, and by demonstrating leadership in using alternative transportation to reduce fossil fuel consumption and contributions to greenhouse gas emissions.
See the Alternative Transportation section on this site for more about how the National Park Service is using shuttles and other alternative vehicles to protect the resources and enhance the visitor experience.