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, soundscapes, 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 36.5 million passenger boardings in 2014.
The NPS currently has 121 alternative transportation systems in 63 park units nationwide. The systems are provided through contractual, concession and/or partnership agreements. One hundred and three (85%) of NPS transit systems are operated by a non-NPS entity under an agreement or contract. These systems account for almost 99% of passenger boardings servicewide. The remaining 18 (15%) of transit systems are owned and operated by NPS and account for 1% of boardings.
Across the NPS, ATS vehicles are "rolling ambassadors," exemplifying the NPS commitment to enhancing the visitor experience. Alternative transportation systems in the NPS include a variety of vehicle types:
- 50% are shuttle/bus/van/tram
- 29% are boat/ferry
- 10.7% are planes
- 6.6 % are snowcoaches
- 3.3% are trains/trolley
- 59 % of NPS-owned vehicles operate on alternative fuels
The complete 2014 National NPS Transit Inventory and Performance Report can be downloaded here.