New shuttle buses for Grand Canyon National Park, when a $27 million federal grant comes through to upgrade their fleet.
Grand Canyon National Park has over 270 miles of paved and unpaved roads, and sees almost six million people a year. To help keep traffic flowing, the park has a fleet of shuttle buses so tourists can leave their cars and taken to the key points of interest. Almost two-thirds of the park’s visitors take at least a short ride on these buses, but they’re getting old.
In an event Thursday, at a view point on the canyon’s south rim, it was announced that the park would receive $27.5 million of the $130 million that the Federal Highway Administration has set aside to fund transportation projects of national significance.
“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,” Federal Highway Administrator Shailen Bhatt said.
The project funded by the grant includes 30 new shuttle buses. 10 will be all-electric, and charging stations will also be installed. The other 20 will run on compressed natural gas, like the current fleet. Both options are less polluting than regular gas or diesel, and it’s hoped that they will help reduce road pollution in the park. Park officials also hope that the new buses will be a more attractive options to park visitors, leading more people to choose to leave their cars outside the park borders.
Shuttle bus service in the Grand Canyon National Park is free with park admittance, and most routes run year round. The five bus routes include visitor centers, trail heads, view points, hotels, services, and campgrounds. Some roads in the park are only open to bus traffic.