October 26, 2017 - 11:49 AMT
PanARMENIAN.Net - The admission fee to visit some of America's most popular national parks could skyrocket to $70 as officials look for ways to shore up funding to repair billions of dollars in aging infrastructure, BuzzFeed News reports.
The National Park Service announced the proposed fee hikes Tuesday, October 24. Under the plan, admission during "peak season" — or the busiest months of the year — at 17 parks would rise to $70 per vehicle. Motorcyclists would have to pay $50 to enter the parks, while people on foot or bikes would face $30 admission fees.
The new admission pricing would apply to the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, Yosemite, Zion, Grand Teton, and other popular parks, most of which are in the West.
The prices represent a huge increase over what visitors to the parks currently pay. At the Grand Canyon, Yellowstone, Yosemite and other parks, drivers now pay $30 per vehicle. Other parks are cheaper, such as Canyonlands, where drivers can enter for $25 and pedestrians for $10.
Tuesday's proposed price increases comes after the Park Service raised the cost of the lifetime senior pass from $10 to $80.
The new, higher fees are designed to increase revenue to the Park Service, which estimates it would bring in an additional $70 million per year. The money is "badly needed," the agency says, and would be used for "improvements to the aging infrastructure of national parks."
"This includes roads, bridges, campgrounds, waterlines, bathrooms, and other visitor services," the Park Service said in a statement.