|FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE|
|Date:||September 25, 2003|
|Contact:||Laura Loomis, NPCA, 202-454-3918
Steve Bosak, NPCA, cell: 202-997-0875
Tim Young, NPCA, 307-733-4680
Innovative Shuttle Bus Debuts in Washington, D.C.
“Many national parks and gateway communities could really benefit from these buses,” said Laura Loomis, the National Parks Conservation Association’s transportation director. “This revolutionary, environmentally friendly design adapts to all seasons and pioneers a comfortable and educational method to see and learn about our parks.”
The $175,000 bus is a modernized version of the traditional yellow bus once common in the 1930s in places such as Yellowstone and Glacier national parks. It can accommodate 16 to 32 passengers and can use a range of alternative fuels. The bus also features a low floor design that complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act, a retractable roof that allows passengers greater visibility of the outdoors, and has tracks for winter travel as well as tires.
“These buses are ready to help parks alleviate traffic congestion and provide an attractive option for visitors seeing our national treasures. All that’s needed is funding from Congress,” Loomis added.
Several members of Congress have shown support for the yellow buses, including Sens. Conrad Burns (R-Mont.), Paul Sarbanes (D-Md.), Mike Crapo (R-Idaho), and Max Baucus (D-Mont.). Currently, both the House of Representatives and the Senate are considering legislation addressing alternative modes of transportation in the national parks.
Following its Washington, D.C., unveiling this week, the prototype will tour several national parks and six new buses will be operating in Yellowstone National Park in spring of 2004.
Partners in the project include the U.S. Department of Energy’s Idaho National Engineering and Environmental Laboratory, the National Park Service, the Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration, Heart International, Ruby Mountain, Greater Yellowstone/Teton Clean Cities Coalition, ASG Renaissance, and Hadley Products.