LANSING, Mich. (WJMN) – A challenge has been issued to make many of Michigan’s National Parks more accessible. The goal of the National Park Michigan Mobility Challenge (NPMMC) is to attract talent and investments from across the country to improve accessibility and sustainability within Michigan’s National Parks.
The challenge was issued to Keweenaw National Historical Park, Pictured Rocks National Lakeshore, River Raisin National Battlefield Park and Sleeping Bear Dunes National Lakeshore. Isle Royale National Park was not included in the challenge. No vehicles are allowed on the island.
“Michigan’s five National Parks receive 2.7 million visitors every year and generate $380 million in economic benefit, supporting thousands of jobs and local economies across the state,” said Governor Whitmer. “The National Park Mobility Challenge will bring together the beauty of Pure Michigan and our state’s cutting-edge mobility expertise to create safer, cleaner, and more accessible transportation infrastructure in and around our state parks. We will continue collaborating with the National Park Service to show how next generation transportation solutions can better connect residents and visitors to our beautiful state.”
The state has identified a list of priorities which the NPMMC will challenge mobility companies and public agencies to find possible solutions to one or more of the categories:
- Small-Scale Electric Shuttles and Automated Driving Systems (ADS): Multi-passenger transit services, such as small-scale electric shuttles (either human-operated or ADS-operated). These technologies provide visitors with a greater variety of transportation options, ease navigation in and around NPS sites, replace private motor vehicle trips, alleviate parking and roadway congestion in busy areas, improve access for persons with disabilities, and reduce the environmental impact of visitors’ travel.
- Multimodal Electric Charging Hubs: Integrated multimodal electric charging hubs in and around NPS gateway communities. With the advancement of electric mobility devices, the State and NPS will create more capacity for the public and fleet operators to charge their electric vehicles while traveling and recreating in Michigan’s great outdoors.
- Micromobility: Concepts that expand shared micromobility services that provide visitors with dynamic, enjoyable alternatives to motor vehicle trips. These technologies can facilitate both short, “last mile” trips from the campsite to the store or enable visitors without their own bikes to experience Michigan’s trails on an all-day adventure.
“This Challenge is an unparalleled opportunity for Michigan’s brightest mobility-makers to pilot, demonstrate, and evaluate solutions that address some of the critical transportation challenges that visitors to Michigan’s National Parks face,” said Kathryn Snorrason, Interim Chief Mobility Officer of the State of Michigan. “We are proud to build on our first-of-its-kind partnership with the NPS to further drive innovation, travel, and a strong mobility future for Michigan’s residents and visitors alike.”
To learn more about how Michigan is leading in transportation mobility and electrification, visit www.michiganbusiness.org/mobility.