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News for December 4, 2021

Infrastructure Investments, New Tech To Enhance Visitor Experience At National Parks—RVIA

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Interior Secretary Deb Haaland and Secretary of Transportation Pete Buttigieg have announced new initiatives which will improve accessibility, create jobs, and improve the experience of transportation on the public lands throughout the United States.

In a ceremony held in Washington, D.C., the two Secretaries signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to improve the Department’s coordination on infrastructure investment and the use of new technologies at National Park Service-managed locations.

The MOU sets out the top priorities, which include pilots of innovative technology, shared mobility integration, the electrification of major transportation fleets, as well as the addition of charging stations for electric vehicles that will direct the Department’s efforts to develop world-class transportation systems that offer improved access to car-free travel as well as interpretation, educational, and recreational opportunities for visitors who would like to visit the public areas.

According to an RV Industry Association (RVIA) News & Insights report, this is “great news” for the RV industry. The report highlighted EV charging stations and advanced traveler information systems as two key initiatives from the MOU that will benefit the industry.

“Adding charging stations in strategic locations both within and beyond park boundaries will enable visitors who use electric and plug-in hybrid electric vehicles to visit NPS and other Federal Lands sites. EV charging stations will also enable NPS to incorporate EVs into its fleets for operational uses,” the report reads.

Advanced traveler information system will see implemenation of strategies using mobile technologies and infrastructure. This will provide Americans with information to make more informed travel decisions.

“As our national parks and public lands experience a surge of visitation, we must be innovative in our approaches to welcome people from every zip code, while also ensuring that we pass on these natural and cultural resources to future generations. Through this partnership with Transportation, our teams can advance the intersection of transportation innovations and access to public spaces,” said Interior Secretary Deb Haaland. 

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