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Contact: FHWA.PressOffice@dot.gov, (202) 366-0660
The U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) has announced the award of $27.5 million to the National Park Service (NPS) for the Grand Canyon National Park Shuttle Bus Fleet Replacement project in Arizona. The project includes 30 new buses, including 10 new battery electric buses and 20 new compressed natural gas (CNG) buses, to replace the current aging fleet and the installation of charging infrastructure to support the new electric buses. An estimated 6 million people visit the park each year and use the free shuttle buses to access destinations throughout the Grand Canyon.
“Grand Canyon National Park is one of our most beloved national parks,” said U.S. Transportation Secretary Pete Buttigieg. “This grant, made possible by President Biden’s Bipartisan Infrastructure Law, will help ensure safe and reliable bus service for park visitors for decades to come.”
The project is one of seven to receive federal grants totaling $130.5 million under FHWA’s Nationally Significant Federal Lands and Tribal Transportation Projects Program. The grants announced today – which recognize transportation projects of national significance that serve Federal and Tribal lands – are part of President Biden’s Investing in America agenda to rebuild our infrastructure and deliver big wins for the American people.
Officials from the U.S. Department of Transportation, U.S. Department of the Interior, Grand Canyon National Park and surrounding communities participated in an event today at the Grand Canyon South Rim to announce the grant award.
“With this National Park Service grant that is part of President Biden’s Investing in America agenda, we’re helping to deliver safe, sustainable and reliable transportation investments that help families and visitors explore the Grand Canyon National Park and surrounding communities,” said Federal Highway Administrator Shailen Bhatt. “The new bus fleet will ensure millions of people can continue to visit the park and enjoy this natural wonder, while also providing climate-friendly connections to the regional transportation network and linking visitors and local residents to other destinations throughout the region.”
“To practice responsible stewardship of the Grand Canyon National Park, we must lead by example in the fight against climate change,” said Congressman Raúl M. Grijalva. “The $27.5 million grant from the USDOT is the first critical investment to update the Grand Canyon’s aging transportation infrastructure to be more sustainable and will support NPS’ climate action plan to lower our carbon emissions. I supported this federal funding to help ensure an accessible, efficient, and cleaner connection for global visitors and will continue to support investments to enhance the Park’s infrastructure as we work toward a sustainable future.”
“The Biden-Harris administration is taking an all-of-government approach to developing a clean energy economy where public lands play a key role in reducing greenhouse gas emissions,” said Deputy Assistant Secretary for Fish and Wildlife and Parks Matt Strickler. “The Interior Department looks forward to continuing robust and collaborative partnerships with federal, local, Tribal and industry partners as we improve the park visitor experience and meet President Biden’s ambitious clean energy goals.”
“The necessary replacement of the outdated shuttle bus fleet is an opportunity to upgrade to cleaner, quieter electric buses,” said Grand Canyon National Park Superintendent Ed Keable. “This project will address transportation challenges related to maintaining an aging fleet, and the NPS goal to achieve sustainable transportation alternatives.”
The Departments of the Interior and Transportation have partnered for nearly 100 years, with what was then the Bureau of Public Roads. As the Bureau became modernized throughout the 20th century, major rehabilitation projects and new transit became possible at our nation’s most treasured sites, including at Acadia, Grand Canyon and Zion National Parks, making the parks more accessible. In November 2021, Secretary of the Interior Deb Haaland and Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg announced a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to strengthen the Departments’ coordination regarding infrastructure investments and the deployment of innovative technologies at National Park Service-managed sites.
In addition to the grants announced, FHWA also opened applications for the next round of funding under the Nationally Significant Federal Lands and Tribal Transportation Projects Program. More information about the availability of $88 million in FY 2023 funds can be found in the Notice of Funding Opportunity. Information on how to apply is available at Grants.gov.
Last updated: July 7, 2023