from NPS Glacier National Park
WEST GLACIER, MT. – The National Park Service announced today that it was modifying the terms of a prospectus for the concessions operations at Glacier National Park to reinforce the park’s intention to retain the operation of the entire fleet of red buses while providing safe, informative and memorable experiences for Glacier National Park visitors.
These modifications supersede original plans to retire half of the red bus fleet, replacing them with modern equipment.
Acting Glacier National Park Superintendent Kym Hall said, “We love the red buses and our intent has been to retain this iconic symbol of the park.”
Changes to the prospectus clarify how maintenance and rehabilitation of the bus fleet will occur. The newly selected concessioner will be responsible for the management and upkeep of the red buses. The National Park Service owns all
the existing 33 historic red buses in the fleet. Through the terms of the pending concessions contract, the National Park Service intends to monitor the condition of the red buses and rehabilitate the buses as needed over the course of the 16-year contract. Hall said that modifications of the prospectus for the new concessions contract are being developed to clarify those requirements. The modifications to the prospectus will be posted on the agency’s commercial services website at http://www.concessions.nps.gov/prospectuses.htm in mid-February.
Hall said, “We appreciate the advocacy for the red buses by the Glacier Park Foundation and others, and their dedication to preserving the fleet of 33 iconic and historic buses.”
As the historic buses age, rehabilitation work is required to keep the fleet safe and operational. The buses have 1930s–era bodies adapted to modern chassis. It is recognized that the required custom rehabilitation work on the buses will be very expensive.
A complete and custom restoration of the buses was last completed in 2002 with the generous assistance of the Ford Motor Company through the National Park Foundation. At that time the cost for the rehabilitation of the buses was more than $6 million dollars.
Hall said, “We want to maintain and continue the tradition of the iconic red buses on the road in Glacier National Park.”