The Paul S.
Sarbanes Transit in Parks Program was established to address the challenge of increasing vehicle congestion in and around our national parks and other federal lands.
Americas national parks, wildlife refuges, and national forests were created to protect unique environmental
and cultural treasures, but are now facing traffic, pollution and crowding that diminishes the visitor experience and threatens the environment.
To address these concerns, this program provides funding for alternative transportation systems, such as shuttle buses, rail connections and even bicycle trails.
The program seeks to conserve natural, historical, and cultural resources; reduce congestion and pollution; improve visitor mobility and accessibility; enhance visitor experience; and ensure access to all, including persons with disabilities.
The program is administered by the U. S. Department of Transportation, together with the Department of the Interior and the U. S. Forest Service.
This is the final allocation of funds under this program, which was repealed by Congress in the most recent transportation authorization.
Program funds may support capital and planning expenses for new or existing alternative transportation systems in the vicinity of an eligible area.
Alternative transportation includes transportation by bus, rail, or any other publicly available means of transportation and includes sightseeing service.
It also includes non-motorized transportation systems such as pedestrian and bicycle trails.
Operating costs, such as fuel and drivers salaries, are not eligible expenses.
FTA will prioritize projects that demonstrate benefits independent of future sources of funding.
While planning projects are eligible, they should provide benefits independent of any proposed future project.
Eligible funding recipients include federal land management agencies (FLMAs) that manage eligible areas, including, but not limited to:
Bureau of Land Management (BLM) Bureau of Reclamation (BR) National Park Service (NPS) U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS) U. S. Forest Service (USFS) Eligible recipients also include state, tribal, or local governmental authorities with jurisdiction over land in the vicinity of an eligible area acting with the consent of the FLMA.
Eligible project areas include any federally owned or managed park, refuge or recreational area open to the general public, including:
National Parks, National Wildlife Refuges; Bureau of Land Management recreational areas; Bureau of Reclamation recreational areas; and National Forests.
Eligible projects may also include the communities and land surrounding these federal lands.