I had a great time when we visited Glacier National Park last year; however I was a bit disappointed that the iconic Red Bus Tours were not accessible. Well, all that’s about to change, as the new park concessionaire — Xanterra Parks and Resorts — recently announced that they plan to upgrade the fleet and add two accessible buses.
As for the previous concessionaire, well here’s what they had to say about why they didn’t make the Red Buses accessible:
“The Red Buses were built in the 1930s and therefore were never designed with ADA-accessible needs in mind. When the Red Buses were recently refurbished in 2001, it was decided that to make the busses accessible would take away from the structural integrity of the wooden frame of the buses.”
Thankfully, that’s not the attitude at Xanterra; in fact Xanterra has an excellent track record with access. I’m tickled pink that they will be the concessionaire for the next 16 years. The National Park Service (NPS) made an excellent choice.
Additionally we can look forward to healthier food options in the park, as Xanterra plans to meet and exceed the NPS “Healthy Parks, Healthy People” initiative with their own Fresh Forward program.
So it’s a win-win proposition all the way around. Accessible buses and healthy food options — who could ask for anything more?