Hop on Board with student Mattie Case

I’M ON BOARD because riding Mountain Line allows me to be more independent when I go to school and other places in Missoula.

— Mattie Case, student, age 12

I learned to use public transportation five years ago, when my family lived in Washington, D.C.  Anytime we went anywhere, we rode the bus or the Metro. We hardly ever used our car. It was always difficult to find parking spaces and, besides, it was fun for me and my sister and brother.

So when we moved back to Missoula, it was natural for me to use the bus. The first time I started riding the bus places by myself was to my gymnastics class last summer. I learned to put my bike on the rack on the front and ride the bus from our house to Bitterroot Gymnastics. Afterward, I would bike home.

I also ride Mountain Line to get to school. With my sister and brother, I usually ride Mountain Line to school twice a week and I ride the bus home from school three or four times a week. Roughly 15 of my schoolmates do so, too.

I like riding the bus on summer mornings. Kids ride free all summer long, so that’s nice. Sometimes I feel rushed to get on, but once I’m aboard, I can take the time to read or use my iPad, because Mountain Line buses have WiFi.

Most people don’t know that riding the bus doesn’t take that long to get to where you want to go. And you can get on a bus practically anywhere in Missoula. It’s almost like riding in the car, but it’s a lot quieter.

When I ride the bus, it makes me feel a lot more independent. When I am with my friends, we can just walk down to the transfer station and get on a bus. We don’t have to worry about having the fare in the summer, and we don’t need our parents to drive us everywhere.

I feel independent to be able to put my bike on the bus, go to gymnastics and get home by myself. That’s why I’m On Board!