By DeJanay Booth

(CBS DETROIT) — The state of Michigan and the National Park Service (NPS) are teaming up to improve access to national parks in the region.

With a rise in park 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 a cross-departmental collaboration with other state agencies including the Michigan Outdoor Recreation Industry Office, Department of Natural Resources, 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:

  • Research innovative mobility projects that have the potential to improve environmental sustainability or visitor access, relieve traffic congestion issues, or improve safety in and around national parks in the State of Michigan, and develop project proposals for implementing them.
  • Explore and identify potential electric vehicle charging infrastructure projects within national and state parks that would enable NPS visitors and staff to have access to charging stations.
  • Plan and execute knowledge and information sharing opportunities to support the advancement of innovative mobility and electrification initiatives related to public lands visitation 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 Circuit to enable accessible and equitable electric vehicle tourism at state and national parks around the Great Lakes.

“The partnership we celebrate today advances the National Park Service’s commitment to leveraging emerging technologies for cleaner and more sustainable transportation options that can also reduce congestion and improve experiences for park visitors. These efforts are bolstered by recent landmark legislation, including the Great American Outdoors Act and the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill, that encourages collaborative efforts to make infrastructure improvements in national parks,” NPS Director Chuck Sams said in a statement.

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