Improving Travel In Our National Parks: The Transportation Scholars Program

As the population of the United States continues to increase, so do transportation issues in our national parks. In the past three decades, park visitation has jumped more than 83 percent; almost all of these additional visitors have traveled to and through the parks in privately owned vehicles. Roads and parking facilities that were once adequate are now overwhelmed, especially during peak travel seasons.

The resulting congestion both degrades visitor experiences and imperils the natural and cultural resources the National Park Service (NPS) is committed to protecting. The result is further strain on an agency already stretched by small budgets and over-worked staff.

In 2001, in an attempt to help the NPS find innovative solutions to this problem, the National Park Foundation (NPF), the Ford Motor Company Fund, and Eno Transportation Foundation teamed up with the NPS to establish the National Park Transportation Scholars Program. Today the program continues under the guidance of the National Park Foundation, the National Park Service, the Federal Highway Administration, the Paul S. Sarbanes Transit in Parks and Technical Assistance Center, and the Eno Transportation Foundation.

The Transportation Scholars Program provides parks with transportation professionals who assist in developing transportation systems to help parks reduce traffic, congestion, and pollution while improving park visitor experiences. The Scholars Program pairs transportation professionals and graduate students with NPS staff seeking expert assistance with projects involving transportation planning and analysis, public outreach, intergovernmental coordination, environmental impact assessment, and other transportation-related tasks. Assignments generally begin in early summer and last either six or twelve months.

The Transportation Scholars Program provides the Park Service with much-needed transportation expertise at a fraction of the cost of hiring consultants or bringing on full-time staff. The Parks derive significant advantages from having Transportation Scholars located on-site versus using off-site assistance, and Scholars benefit parks by serving as single points of contact on transportation matters for consultants, contractors, and local communities. Scholars also bring a fresh perspective to the Park Service, while taking away valuable personal and professional experiences.

Jacqueline Lowey, Deputy Chief of Staff at the U.S. Department of Transportation (USDOT) from 1996 to 1997, and Deputy Director of the NPS from 1997-2001, conceived the idea for the Transportation Scholars Program. "I think that transportation is absolutely key to protecting park resources," said Lowey. "Transportation is the nexus of how you preserve parks while enabling visitors to experience the parks' incredible natural and historical treasures now and in the future."

To be eligible for consideration, parks must have a specific transportation-related project ready to begin or already underway. A committee made up of representatives from the NPS, the NPF, and the Eno Foundation reviews park applications that meet these basic requirements; final park selections are made by the NPF's Board of Directors.

Parks with projects connected to well-developed, long-term transportation plans and involving innovative approaches to addressing park transportation issues are given priority. Examples of such innovative approaches include projects incorporating alternative transportation systems, community involvement, sustainable transportation, transportation master planning, multi-modal access, and non-motorized transportation. The scholar selection process is administered by the Eno Foundation, which assembles a selection panel with representatives from the NPS, the USDOT-Federal Lands Highway, and other organizations with a transportation focus. The panel reviews the project proposals of parks selected by the National Park Foundation, and matches the best qualified candidate with each project.

Transportation Scholars have come from a diverse range of educational and professional backgrounds; several have been working professionals in transportation-related fields. Others have been graduate students pursuing PhD or masters degrees in civil engineering, landscape architecture, urban planning, public policy, and business administration. Most Scholars are given assignments of between 3 months and 1 year, though some have worked for the same park for multiple years.

At the end of their term, the scholars are required to submit a report to the NPF detailing their accomplishments, providing guidance to NPS decision makers, and describing the significance of their findings for other park units and the larger transportation community.

The Transportation Scholars Program provides the National Park Service with much-needed transportation expertise, helping to limit traffic congestion, battle climate change, and protect the park resources for the enjoyment of present and future generations. To learn more about the Transportation Scholars program and NPS transportation issues, visit

Best Public Transportation Options

One of the best creations of our time has been the development of public transportation. These services are available for everyday use by the general public for a fee in some cases. The transportation options often include buses, taxis, inner-city rails, subways and in some cases a ferry. Some people even use multiple options at once to get to their destination. Most of the public transports run to a scheduled timetable to assure everyone have a chance to connect. When you think about how our world is ever-changing and growing you can appreciate public transportation. A good public transport system runs off the areas infrastructure and can vary from city, state and even country. Depending on where you live will determine the type of system you use.

Some areas use the traditional bus system. The bus system was one of the early means of travel for most in the early years. This method is still what most use to date. The reason people like riding buses are due to the routing it takes. Buses take you on a journey and allows for quick stops to do other things like visit your local grocery store, the bank or even grab a bit to eat. With the knowledge of buses running to a given stop every hour you know that you can schedule your day around a specific bus line route. Buses also give you the options to transfer and take another bus depending on where you're going without an additional cost. You have to make sure that you have enough patients with this method. There are some cases where the schedule can be off just a little and that moment might affect the next busing schedule you have.

Subways are another valuable means of transportation. This method can be seen in the most eastern part of the United States of America. Just like the busing system the subways are run off schedules. The great thing about sub ways is that it can connect from city to city on a given path. Subways just the like bus makes frequent stops to get all passenger s to their destination. Most of the subways are underground. That means that you must know where your stop is or the general area to arrive at your destination.

Taxis have been around for a while as well. This method allows you to hire a driver to get you to your destination without the worries of stopping from stop to stop like the bus and subway system. The convenience you traveling get a little better with taxis. They are just like have a personal driver drive you around in your own car. If you live in a city of state where everything is nearby it can ask the question of needing a car of your own.

There are several people who prefer to just use public transportation to get around. It's not because they can't afford it but it's due to the convenience. The fact is that public transportation works well for a lot of people and preserving the nature of it is important. I would recommend everyone to become familiar with the public transit system in case you need it one day.

Mary Atkinson

Tips on Auto Insurance

Best Insurance Policy

Possible Choices on Airport Transportation

When you are planning to go to another country or place, it is important that you know the transportation means present so that you would know how you will be able to move around the place when you get there. Sometimes a place has limited options when it comes to transportation. This means that you will have to hire the services of an airport transfer service so that you can conveniently roam around the place especially if you are on a vacation. Today, airport transfer companies provide lots of options when it comes to airport transportation. Now, people can choose the best vehicle for them according to the number of people and their allotted budget. Here are some of the top choices in airport transportation.

If you will be going on a trip with an entire class or organization, it is better if you just hire a bus. This will give you the best seat and space inside the vehicle. You do not have to fit everyone in a small vehicle as this will just make everyone feel uncomfortable. For transfer services, buses usually are taken with packages like tours or chosen destinations around the place. This will give everyone the chance to roam around and enjoy one area before leaving for another area. This can also offer you a door-to-door service especially if you come in a large group.

If you will be going for a vacation with the entire family or circle of friends not more than 20, then you can just hire a shuttle. This is smaller than a bus but bigger than cars or vans. This can accommodate up to 20 persons and will still have enough space for the baggage. This can provide comfort and ease to everyone in the group. This can also be hired anywhere in the place that you will be going. You just need to book for this service before hand because it is one of the most popular types of service for many airport transfer companies.

Limousine and high-end cars will always be a top choice for the rich, popular and highly influential people. Let's say if a celebrity is going for a shooting in a different place, this is usually the choice for them. But if you have a good budget for your vacation, you may take this choice instead. You will surely be comfortable and feel all the luxuries that you can give yourself.

Public utility vehicles are also good especially if you just want to have a door-to-door service. Taxis can fetch you from the airport and send you to the hotel where you are booked. These also offer tour packages at affordable rates.

In some places, there are still other options when it comes to airport transportation. You just need to choose the one that is most appropriate for your trip. You can also book ahead of time just to be sure that you will not have difficulties on transportation when you get to the vacation place.

Con-X-ION will give the options that one can have when it comes to airport transportation. To get to learn airport transportation of Con-X-ION services, one can visit their website @

The Benefits of Chauffeured Transportation for Your Wedding Day

You've got every last detail of your wedding day planned, or so you think. But have you considered how you're getting to and from all of the events planned on your wedding day? Were you seriously thinking of driving yourself? Hiring a limousine or chauffeured car for your wedding day is one of the best choices you can make. Go ahead and make a little room in your budget for a hired car or limo; the benefits far outweigh the cost.

Guaranteed Beauty and Class

When you look back at your wedding day, some of the images that will shine out the most are the pictures your photographer took. Instead of wincing over a questionable bumper sticker or a visible dent for the rest of your life, celebrate the classy, timeless elegance that a limousine offers. You will never regret photographs of your arrival or send-off when you are sure to look like a red carpet movie star entering and exiting your limo. An added perk: your friends won't be able to decorate the limo with annoying cans, shaving cream, window paint, and questionable references to the wedding night.


As the song goes, "get me to the church on time!" A respectable chauffeured car company's reputation depends on their punctuality, so you know that you, your groom, and your wedding party will be at your venue promptly on time. When you're driving yourself, there are a million different delays you can encounter, all of which can make even an on-time departure equal a late arrival. With a hired car or limo, the only reason you'll be late is if your makeup appointment runs long.

Party All Night

One of the greatest drawbacks to using your own car as your wedding transportation is that someone has to be the designated driver. Most people want to be able to let loose at their reception, have some champagne or scotch while getting ready, or have a quick shot of "liquid courage" before things get hectic. If you are driving yourself, you have to be careful about how much you or your husband imbibe to make sure that you are sober to drive. Having to carefully monitor your alcohol intake like that on your wedding night can be a real drain, especially when your sorority sisters want to do a shot for old times' sake or your guests keep giving toasts. By hiring a limo or chauffeured car to drive you for your wedding day, you can have champagne with your hair appointment, take a shot before walking down the aisle, and party to your heart's content without worrying about having to drive later.

Once you've realized that a limousine or chauffeured car is the right choice for your wedding day transportation, be sure to contact a reputable limousine service. Because you want your wedding day to be perfect, it's important to look at the company's record more than it is to look at their prices. Seek out a chauffeured transportation service in your area that has outstanding reviews for their services and don't hesitate to ask for references. By finding an outstanding limo or hired car service for your wedding day transportation, you're on the right path to making your special day unforgettable in the best way.

D. Bacher is the CEO of Topper Worldwide, an Atlanta car service and global chauffeured transportation provider. Founded in 1996, Topper remains a family owned and operated business, providing a level of service that is unrivaled in the transportation industry. From global corporate transportation to local Atlanta wedding limo rentals, Topper Worldwide is large enough to accommodate groups for any type of private or corporate events, but small enough to provide the boutique feeling that Topper has become synonymous with.