Resource Jun 17, 2024

Transportation Funding in and Near National Parks: NPCA & Partners Field Guide to Federal Grants

Transportation Funding Toolkit (22 MB)

This guide was developed to provide National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) staff and partners the resources and contacts necessary to pursue federal funding for transportation and transit projects in and near national parks.

The funding opportunities detailed in this guide provide avenues of funding beyond national park base funding, fees and other traditional sources of funding. National Park Service (NPS) base funding and fees are stretched thin and securing funding through the Department of Transportation (DOT) or other federal funding can help parks immensely without impacting their individual park budgets.

Some NPCA regional offices have successfully pursued these funding avenues in recent years.

Some examples include:

  • Southwest Regional Office helped obtain $27.5 million for the Grand Canyon National Park Shuttle Bus Fleet Replacement project in Arizona.
  • Midwest Regional Office leveraged federal funding through a local metropolitan planning organization to develop a transportation plan for Pullman National Historical Park.
  • Southwest Regional Office worked with partners and Zion National Park to secure $33.4 million to replace the shuttle bus fleet in and adjacent to the park.
  • Suncoast Regional Office helped secure $60 million to support the critical next phase of bridging and elevating Tamiami Trail to restore historic freshwater flow to Everglades National Park and Florida Bay.

NPCA would like to help other regional staff and partners secure funding for transportation and transit needs in and near parks. This guide is designed to help you get started. While this guide is predominantly focused on DOT grant programs, also included is a list of electric vehicle (EV) charging infrastructure funding sources for national park gateway communities, some of which are administered by the Department of Energy. Many of these programs were created or expanded by the 2021 Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act. Gateway communities are integral in providing EV infrastructure and transit connections to enhance visitor experiences and reduce climate impacts.

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