Partners in Transportation

Secretary Deb Haaland and Secretary Pete Buttigieg signing an MOU
DOI  Secretary Haaland and DOT Secretary Buttigieg commit to continue collaboration to proactively address emerging transportation trends.

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The NPS focuses on fostering partnerships across a wide array of topics and initiatives, including transportation. Coordinated efforts between the NPS and transportation agencies, state governments, local communities, foundations, businesses, and other partners provide a variety of transportation benefits for parks, visitors, and gateway communities. This includes providing multimodal and car-free transportation options, enhancing access and connections between parks and gateway communities, jointly pursuing funding to address critical transportation needs, and improving the visitor experience, all while preserving and protecting the area’s natural, historical, and cultural resources.

Who Are Our Partners?

Partners and partner groups will vary according to the park, landscape, project, or issue. However, partners typically involve gateway communities, transportation agencies, state and local governments, foundations, businesses, and corporations. Partners may also include individuals, philanthropists, and many others who are interested in sharing in the stewardship of the parks and its resources.

U.S. Department of Transportation

The NPS works closely with the U.S. DOT. In November 2021, Department of the Interior (DOI) Secretary Deb Haaland and DOT Secretary Pete Buttigieg signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) between DOT and DOI on Transportation Innovation in the National Park System. The MOU strengthens the collaboration between the NPS and DOT to continue working together to proactively address emerging transportation trends. The first year brought many successes and accomplishments.

Office of Federal Lands Highway
The Federal Lands Transportation Program (FLTP) provides funding for NPS transportation infrastructure in partnership with the Federal Highway Administration’s Office of Federal Lands Highway (FLH). The FLH provides financial management, engineering, and construction management support for the FLTP.

Volpe National Transportation System Center
The U.S. Department of Transportation (U.S. DOT) established the Volpe National Transportation Systems Center (Volpe Center) in 1970 to serve as a federal resource positioned to provide world-renowned, multidisciplinary, multimodal transportation expertise on behalf of U.S. DOT’s operating administrations, the Office of the Secretary, and other federal agencies and external organizations. The Volpe Center’s extensive cross-modal partnerships have led to innovative solutions that have advanced national and global transportation systems. Volpe’s Public Lands Team helps the NPS resolve complex transportation challenges at both the program and project levels.

U.S. Department of Energy

The NPS works with the U.S. DOE, including on the transition to electric vehicles, charging infrastructure, and site assessments.

Federal Energy Management Program
The Federal Energy Management Program (FEMP) works with its stakeholders to enable federal agencies to meet energy-related goals, identify affordable solutions, facilitate public-private partnerships, and provide energy leadership to the country by identifying and leveraging government best practices.

National Renewable Energy Laboratory
The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) is transforming energy through research, development, commercialization, and deployment of renewable energy and energy efficiency technologies.

The Public Lands Transportation Fellows Program

The Public Lands Transportation Fellows (PLTF) program provides fellowships to outstanding graduates in a transportation-related field to work directly with staff of Federal Land Management Agencies (FLMAs) on key visitor transportation issues. The PLTF program was reinitiated at the NPS in 2020 and was modeled after the very successful Transportation Scholars (2000-2014) program that was managed though the National Park Foundation.

The PLTF Program gives recent graduates (sometimes current graduate students) in a transportation related engineering, planning, or resource management program unique opportunities for career development and public service. Successful applicants work on various transportation initiatives or projects with parks, regions and national program areas. The PLTF program allows the fellows to deep dive into the complex transportation issues that are facing the national parks, while preserving resources and enhancing the visitor experience.

The application process for the 2023 PLTF cohort is now open with 3 positions identified for the NPS including safety, planning and visitor use, and climate focused positions.

Partnerships At Work

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    Last updated: January 17, 2023