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Yosemite National Park Goes Green(er)

by Angelique Platas

Dec 8, 2017

© Suchen1967 | Dreamstime

Destinations / North America

The ancient Sequoia trees, breathtaking falls and iconic Tunnel View of Yosemite National Park has driven tourism to California’s Sierra Nevada Mountains for more than 150 years. The National Park was first preserved by Abraham Lincoln and made famous by the writings of John Muir and artwork by Ansel Adams. Needless to say, the area is awe-inspiring.

 

Giant Sequoia Tree in Yosemite National Park

Giant Sequoia Tree in Yosemite National Park. Photo: Mike7777777 | Dreamstime

Yosemite has remained one of the country’s most-visited national parks for good reason. This past August, the nation’s parks attracted 40 million visitors, with more than 609,000 people at Yosemite alone. With more than 5 million visitors annually, Yosemite’s free shuttle service traverses 436,000 miles carrying visitors across the park. Yosemite and the National Park Service underwent some changes accommodating the annual tourism traffic, beginning with the shift from diesel-fueled buses to diesel-electric hybrid vehicles in 2001. Now, the park will unveil another sustainable enterprise to keep up with the growing traffic while preserving our nation’s parks and natural habitats.

 

The newest green initiative by the National Park Service adds two fully electric tour buses to Yosemite’s fleet of transportation shuttles. Yosemite is the first of the national parks to purchase Porterra, the leading zero-emission, battery-electric buses in the industry.

 

Yosemite’s new buses are expected to reduce more than 880,000 pounds of greenhouse gas emissions while saving approximately $150,000 on operational costs. You’ll see the new electric buses in operation in late 2018. The free, year-round shuttle service transports more than 1,480 visitors each day through the park’s Yosemite Valley.

Park shuttle bus

Photo: Luckydoor | Dreamstime

Not only will the shuttle service run on clean energy and improve air quality, but the buses will be quieter than previous shuttles and boast clear views of the park from wide windows. Clearly, it pays to keep up with the times and adapt with greener, more sustainable practices.

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