We have just been alerted to another policy shift from the National Park Service regarding Commercial Use Authorization (CUA) policy and fees.
As you know, in 2018, the NPS announced policy and fee updates for road-based commercial tours (RBCT) in the national park system to come into effect October 1, 2019. These updates are being delayed six months. Except as provided below, NPS will not accept RBCT CUAs until January 1, 2020 and not require CUAs for entry until April 1, 2020. Changes to commercial tour entrance fees will also not occur until the standardized RBCT CUA requirement is implemented.
Parks with existing RBCT CUA requirements may continue to issue and manage CUAs according to existing practices and requirements. However, parks that have not previously issued RBCT CUAs are subject to the delay.
NOTE: Parks will continue to charge commercial tour entrance fees based on the current vehicle-based schedule.
This is more positive news. As you know, ABA along with other bus and tour associations have been lobbying the Department of Interior, the NPS and Congress on this issue. We are working for you! While we are seeing some changes, the fight is not over. We still need you to contact your Congressional representatives and tell them that allowing the NPS to place these egregious fees on tour and bus operators in an effort to make up their $12 billion maintenance backlog is unacceptable. Motorcoach travel is the greenest form of transportation. Financially restricting groups from seeing our national parks is going to create greater environmental harm when those who would choose to go by bus will now travel on their own by car. This will add thousands of cars to already eco-sensitive areas.
Stay up-to-date on this issue by visiting ABA’s website, https://www.buses.org/policy/issues/npsfees.