History

  • June 1976 – Missoula Urban Transportation District was created by the voters by more than a 2 to 1 ratio.
  • September 1977 – Headquarters set up at Tabers Truck Service Center in East Missoula.
  • December 1977 – Service begins on three routes using four used buses. Fare set at $0.25.
  • May 1978 – Six routes added and 10 new buses placed in service.
  • October 1978 – Service to East Missoula and Bonner added.
  • September 1979 – Service to the pulp mill, White Pine and Louisiana Pacific added.
  • April 1980 – Ridership increased over 40% due to a sharp increase in gas prices.
  • May 1980 – Headquarters moved to new facility at 1221 Shakespeare.
  • March 1983 – Service to Missoula County Airport added.
  • September 1991 – Mountain Line enters a contract with The University of Montana, providing free bus service to all UM faculty, staff, and students.
  • December 1992 – Main transfer point moved from Main and Pattee Streets to the front of the County Courthouse on Broadway.
  • October 1996 – Mountain Line switches from contract management to local management.
  • November 1996 – Downtown circulator trolley placed in service through a partnership with the Missoula Redevelopment Agency and the Missoula Parking Commission.
  • June 1997 – Launch the Kids Ride Free in summer program.
  • April 2000 – Downtown Transfer Center opens.
  • January 2001 – Bus fleet becomes 100% Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) accessible.
  • September 2001 – Service is extended – last bus leaves the Transfer Center at 7:15PM.
  • December 2002 –Mountain Line partners with Missoula In Motion, the Missoula Downtown Association (MDA), and the Missoula Parking Commission to provide unlimited-use bus passes to qualified MDA member employees.
  • December 2002 – Celebrate 25 years of service.
  • May 2003 – Begin free Trolley service to the Saturday Markets.
  • May 2005 – Mountain Line institutes a year-round schedule, rather than decreasing service during the summer.
  • January 2006 – Mid-day service expands on routes 2, 4, and 6 plus later service on all routes.
  • September 2007 – Route 11 is added.
  • December 2007 – Celebrate 30 years of service.
  • May 2008 – Mountain Line moves into renovated operations facility, providing covered parking for vehicles, expanded maintenance facilities, additional office space, and bus wash using recycled water.
  • September 2008 – Additional service added on Route 11; Routes 2 and 8 adjusted.
  • January 2009 – Begin Senior Van service.
  • July 2009 – Mountain Line provided 828,887 rides on fixed route, a 4% increase over the previous year. Mountain Line has provided over 19 Million rides since it began service.
  • May 2011 – Free Wi-Fi service added to buses.
  • August 2011 –Real-time informational systems available to passengers.
  • August 2012 – Implementation of Phase I Route changes – First ever 15-minute all-day service in Missoula (Route 1).  15-minute service branded as Bolt! service.
  • November 2012 – Downtown Transfer Center Bike Facility opens.  Mountain Line carries 30,322 bikes on its buses (FY2012).
  • November 2013 – Voters pass a $1.7 million levy to expand Mountain Line services to fund Phase II changes including an additional 15-minute Bolt! route and late evening service until 10:00 pm.
  • January 2015 – Begin Zero-fare demonstration project for three years.  Phase II service begins, which includes Bolt! Service on Route 2, service until 10:00 on Routes 1, 2, 6 & 7 and increased Paratransit services.
  • January 2016 – Ridership grows to over 1 million rides annually, a 40% increase in the first 12 months of Phase II and Zero-fare. Mountain Line breaks the 1 million annual rides barrier for the first time in its history.
  • September 2017 – Ridership grows to over 1.5 million rides annually, a 70% increase since December 2014. The Zero-fare partners agree to continue the program through 2020. Mountain Line looks to expand the number of Zero-fare partners to 40.
  • December 2017 – Celebrate 40 years of public transit service.