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Contact: Kevin Langley, (207) 288-8786
Superintendent Sheridan Steele has announced new entrance fee rates that will take affect January 2004 at Acadia National Park, Bar Harbor, Maine.
The new rates are as follows:
- Acadia 7-day pass $20
- Acadia annual $40
Acadia National Park is one of many parks currently approved to collect transportation fees. The National Parks Omnibus Management Act of 1998 (P.L. 105-391) authorized the collection of transportation fees as a means to support transportation services provided by the National Park Service (NPS). Transportation fees are collected specifically to defray the costs of public transportation services. Acadia has consolidated the transportation and entrance fees included in the park entry pass.
The Island Explorer is a voluntary, seasonal public transit system that serves Acadia National Park and its gateway communities. Established in the late 1990s to reduce traffic congestion, parking and air pollution problems in the park and Mount Desert Island region, the Island Explorer buses provide an eco-friendly transportation alternative. The Island Explorer bus system was created through a partnership between the National Park Service, U.S. Department of Transportation, Maine Department of Transportation, Friends of Acadia, six municipalities and private businesses. Downeast Transportation Inc., a nonprofit organization, operates the system.
The current bus system consists of 17 propane-powered buses that operate on eight different routes; these connect the airport, ferry terminals, campgrounds and motels in the region as well as popular destinations within Acadia. Ridership has increased steadily since 1999 to more than 340,000 riders in summer 2003. Traffic congestion and overflow parking problems have declined in the park and the release of locally generated vehicle emissions has been significantly reduced. While the Island Explorer has been successful to date, the capacity of the system must expand significantly to eliminate traffic problems in the park. Acadia needs additional revenue to help cover the cost of operating a much larger bus system. The transportation fees associated with the new entrance fee rates will help defray these costs and enable the long-term expansion of the Island Explorer system. During an on-board annual survey conducted in summer 2003 by Tom Crikelair Associates, passengers were asked how they felt about a planned increase in Acadia National Park entry fees to help pay for expanded bus service. Two-thirds of the bus users said they agreed with the new, increased fee, while only 9% said they disagreed. 412 groups filled out the 2003 surveys (1,094 individuals.)
Many passengers commented on the need for an expanded bus service. Passengers called for more buses, more seats, increased frequency, bigger bike racks and an extended service season. To improve the bus system, Acadia needs and appreciates your support.
Please buy your park pass: all visitors who enter the park, whether on foot, on bicycle, in private vehicles, or those who ride the Island Explorer into the park, must pay an entrance fee. As of May 1st, 2004, park entrance passes are available at the following locations:
- Sand Beach Entrance Station on the Park Loop Road
- Park Headquarters on the Eagle Lake Road
- Information Center at the Bar Harbor Village Green
- Blackwoods and Seawall campgrounds
- Hulls Cove Visitor Center
- L.L. Bean Inc. in Freeport, Maine (Ed. note: This is no longer the case. 08/06)
View full fee schedule of Acadia National Park's entrance fees.