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Flathead County pulls out of deal for Glacier NP shuttle service

Posted: 9:37 PM, Dec 11, 2019
Updated: 2019-12-12 14:02:26-05
glacier national park bus

Flathead County commissioners are pulling out of a 13-year old agreement to provide local shuttle services for tourists in Glacier National Park.

Commissioners notified the National Park Service on Wednesday that they were terminating the agreement to operate the shuttles.

The deal has moved millions of tourists over the park's busy roads since 2007.

Commissioners cite several reasons for stopping the agreement for the shuttles, operated by Eagle Transit.

The board complains the existing fleet is now at least 10 years old and needs replacement.

They say because the NPS owns the buses, maintenance is problematic. Commissioners also say there's a lack of funding, and service is suffering.

County officials say the number of passengers has soared to more than 250,000 per year, forcing people to wait two-to-three hours during the peak seasons.

The board also complains the shuttles provide "little to no benefit" for Glacier's gateway communities.

Commissioners say discussions with the park haven't been productive, but they're willing to listen if the park comes up with other proposals.

Glacier National Park Superintendent Jeff Mow says the park takes the county's concerns seriously and will be pursuing options for service next summer.