Maintenance

Glacier National Park to Rehabilitate Aging Fleet of 1930s Red Buses

February 04, 2013

Red Bus near the Wild Goose Island Overlook on St. Mary Lake. Photo courtesy David Restivo, NPS.
Red Bus near the Wild Goose Island Overlook on St. Mary Lake. Photo courtesy David Restivo, NPS.

The U.S. National Park Service (NPS) modified a prospectus that allows Glacier National Park in Montana to continue to operate its fleet of 33 unique red buses (shown above). The prospectus clarifies how Glacier National Park will have to maintain and rehabilitate the vehicles, which have 1930s-era bodies adapted to modern chassis and require expensive custom rehabilitation work to keep them operational.

The last time the Park was able to restore the buses was in 2002, with the assistance of Ford Motor Co. through the National Park Foundation. At that time, the cost of rehabilitating the buses was more than $6 million. The terms of the pending concessions contract state that NPS intends to monitor the red buses’ condition and rehabilitate them as needed over the course of a 16-year contract.

"We love the red buses and our intent has been to retain this iconic symbol of the park," said Acting Glacier National Park Superintendent Kym Hall.

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