History

  • June 1976 Missoula Urban Transportation District was created by the voters by more than a 2 to 1 ratio.
  • September 1977 Mountain Line Headquarters set up at Tabers Truck Service Center in East Missoula.
  • December 12, 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.
  • July 1981 Fare increased to $0.35.
  • March 1983 Service to Missoula County Airport added.
  • September 1984 Fare increased to $0.40.
  • May 1986 Fare reduced to $0.25.
  • April 1987 Fare increased to $0.30.
  • June 1988 Fare increase to $0.40.
  • May 1990 Fare increase to $0.50.
  • September 1991 Mountain Line entered a contract with The University of Montana, providing free bus service to all UM faculty, staff, and students.
  • December 1991 Four large buses and two paratransit buses placed in service.
  • September 1992 Fare increase to $0.65.
  • December 1992 Main transfer point moved from Main and Pattee Streets to the front of the County Courthouse on Broadway.
  • July 1995 Fare increased to $0.85.
  • 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 Beginning of the successful Kids Ride Free program for June, July & August.
  • November 1997 Youth fares lowered to $0.25.
  • February 1999 New air conditioned buses placed in service.
  • April 2000 Transfer Center at 200 W Pine opens. Off street transfer facility with climate controlled indoor waiting area, restrooms and coffee shop.
  • January 2001 Four new buses placed in service making the Mountain Line bus fleet 100% Americans with Disabilities Act accessible.
  • September 2001 Service is extended – last bus leaves the Transfer Center at 7:15PM.
  • August 2002 Thirty-five new bus benches installed throughout Missoula.
  • 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 Mountain Line celebrates 25 years of service.
  • May 2003 Mountain Line begins offering a free Trolley service to the Saturday Markets.
  • July 2003 A Service Analysis of Mountain Line was conducted by Perteet Engineering.
  • July 2004 Park and Ride established at Messiah Lutheran Church in the Rattlesnake.
  • April 2005 Mountain Line begins using Bio Diesel.
  • May 2005 Mountain Line institutes a year round schedule, rather than decreasing service during the summer.
  • January 2006 Mid day service expanded on routes 2, 4, and 6 plus later service on all routes.
  • June 2007 Karl Tyler Chevrolet Sponsors Fare Free Fridays June July and August in 2007 and 2008.
  • July 2007 Ridership increased by 6% in FY 2007.
  • September 2007 Route 11 was added.
  • December 2007 Mountain Line Celebrates 30 years of service.
  • May 2008 Mountain Line moves into their renovated operations facility, providing covered parking for vehicles, expanded maintenance facilities, additional office space, and bus wash using recycled water.
  • August 2008 Mountain Line makes improvements to nine bus stops including the installation of 3 shelters, 5 benches, and concrete pads.
  • September 2008 Additional service added on Route 11; Routes 2 and 8 adjusted.
  • October 2008 Fixed Route Fare increase from .85 to $1.00.
  • January 2009 Mountain Line initiated the Senior Van service, providing curb to curb service for people over the age of 60 by reservation.
  • June 2009 New Paratransit vehicle arrives.
  • 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.
  • February 2010 New Gillig buses begin service.
  • May 2011 Free Wi-Fi service added to buses, courtesy of Community Medical Center.
  • Summer 2011 Real-time informational systems available to passengers.
  • July 2012 NEW fiscal year ridership record of 943,809 (FY 2012).  924,469 on fixed route and 19,340 on curb-to-curb service for senior and people with disabilities.
  • 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 New Downtown Transfer Center Bike Facility “The Bike Den” Opens.  Mountain Line carries 30,322 bikes on its buses (FY2012).
  • November 2013 MUTD Voters pass a $1.7 million dollar 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
  • October 2014 Mountain Line reveals a NEW look and brand for the buses that features activities reflective of Missoula’s active lifestyle.
  • January 2015 All fares on Mountain Line are eliminated for a three year Zero-fare demonstration project.  Phase II service is rolled out which includes Bolt! Service on Route 2, service until 10:00 on Routes 1, 2, 6 & 7 and increased Paratransit services.
  • January 2016 After one year, Mountain Line’s Zero-fare program is already a big success, with ridership growing over 40% in the first 12 months of the project. Mountain Line breaks the 1 million annual rides barrier for the first time in its history.
  • September 2017 With the Zero-fare demonstration project into its final year, ridership grows to over 1.5 million rides annually, a nearly 70% increase in ridership since December 2014. Mountain Line’s Zero-fare partners agree to continue the Zero-fare program through 2020 and the agency looks to expand the number of partners from 15 organizations and businesses to 40. Mountain Line also begins the process of purchasing its first all-electric buses thanks to a Low or No Emissions Vehicle Grant award from the Federal Transit Administration.
  • December 2017 Mountain Line celebrates 40 years of public transit service in the city of Missoula.