(CBS DETROIT) — The state of Michigan and the National Park Service (NPS) are teaming up to improve access to the region’s national parks.
With an increase in the park’s popularity, the agency, along with the state, is providing transportation and mobility solutions. NPS will begin reaching out to mobility companies this summer to develop ideas.
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Officials say the partnership is part of an interdepartmental collaboration with other state agencies, including the Michigan Office of the Outdoor Recreation Industry, the Department of Natural Resources, the Department of Transportation, the Department of Labor and Economic Development and the Office of Future Mobility and Electrification.
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The State of Michigan and NPS have agreed to the following initiatives:
- Investigate innovative mobility projects that have the potential to improve environmental sustainability or visitor access, alleviate traffic congestion problems, or improve safety in and around national parks in the state of Michigan, and develop project proposals for implement them.
- Explore and identify potential electric vehicle charging infrastructure projects within national and state parks that would allow visitors and NPS staff to access charging stations.
- Plan and execute knowledge and information exchange opportunities to support the advancement of innovative mobility and electrification initiatives related to visitation of public lands and tourism.
- Participate in community engagement efforts to develop plans and proposals for potential innovative mobility or electrification pilot projects.
- Engage in general knowledge sharing and develop best practices to support the state’s goal of operationalizing the Lake Michigan Loop to enable accessible and equitable electric vehicle tourism in state and national parks around the Great Lakes.
“Today’s partnership furthers the National Park Service’s commitment to harnessing emerging technologies for cleaner, more sustainable transportation options that can also reduce congestion and improve park visitor experiences. These efforts are bolstered by recent landmark legislation, including the Great American Outdoors Act and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill, which encourages collaborative efforts to make infrastructure improvements in national parks,” said NPS Director Chuck Sams, in a statement.
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