For Immediate Release:
April 9, 2013
Michael Tree, General Manager
Mayor Engen, Downtown Businesses, Public Health and Affordable Housing Advocates Celebrate Mountain Line’s 35th Anniversary
Mountain Line has provided more than 22 million rides since starting in December 1977
MISSOULA, Mont. – Missoula Mayor John Engen led off a community-wide celebration to honor Mountain Line for its 35 years of service at a noontime celebration at the Downtown Transfer Center at noon on Tuesday, April 9.
“Mountain Line is a community partner that has faithfully served Missoula, helping people get where they need to go,” said Missoula Mayor John Engen. “I consider the bus system essential to the quality of life all Missoulians enjoy today and a critical part of the future livability of our community.”
“For Missoulians who cannot drive or afford to own a car, Mountain Line makes it possible for them to get to work, shop for groceries, and get to medical appointments,” said Andrea Davis, executive director of Homeword.
Mountain Line’s first full year of operations was 1978. The system began with three bus routes and four used buses, and the fare was 25 cents. Since then, Mountain Line has provided more than 22 million rides in 35 years of service. Missoula’s community bus service set annual ridership records in each of the last three years, with more than 900,000 rides provided in 2012 alone.
As part of the 35th Anniversary celebrations, Mountain Line is launching a new and improved website today, as well as a “Hop On Board” sweepstakes contest. Anyone who signs up on the new website will be entered to win more than a dozen prizes, donated by local businesses. Prizes include gift certificates from the Trail Head, Good Food Store, Betty’s Divine, Fact & Fiction, Scotty’s Table, Community Medical Center, Shakespeare & Co. Booksellers, and much more. Visit www.mountainline.com for more details and to sign up to win.
“We’re proud to be a part of what makes Missoula such a wonderful home for so many,” said Michael Tree, general manager. “We look forward to another 35 years of serving Missoula with affordable, convenient bus service.”
“By offering commuters a transportation option including free rides on poor air quality days, Mountain Line decreases the number of cars on our streets and makes a huge contribution toward healthy air in Missoula,” said Kim Davitt, Montana initiatives manager with the American Lung Association in Montana.
Mountain Line recently implemented Bolt!, now in service on Route 1, with a bus every fifteen minutes between downtown, the University and Southgate Mall. Other improvements include free Wi-Fi (provided by Community Medical Center) and bike racks on all buses, a mobile app for tracking buses, and a much improved Downtown Transfer Center.
“Mountain Line is a community service that truly benefits us all,” said Don MacArthur, president of the Missoula Urban Transportation District, the all-volunteer board that runs Mountain Line. “And we’re improving services all the time.”
The public is invited to join in the celebrations.