MISSOULA, MONTANA (October 8, 2014) – The Missoula Urban Transportation District announced today that General Manager Michael Tree has resigned effective November 7, 2014, to become Executive Director of the Livermore Amador Valley Transit Authority in California.
“Michael has been a key contributor to Mountain Line’s success over the past several years,” said Board Chairman Eric Hines. “We would like to thank him in particular for his efforts to implement progressive changes to the Mountain Line system and for developing a clear strategy for the transit district’s future.”
The following are improvements made at Mountain Line under Tree’s tenure:
- The downtown transit center was renovated to include long-lasting cement driving aisles, an attractive landscaped median on W Pine Street, and an eco-friendly solar project to reduce energy costs.
- Technology was installed on Mountain Line buses to allow customers a real time view of the location of their buses on computers and smart phones. Customers are also able to receive electronic notifications of bus arrival times. Additionally, free 4G Wi-Fi was installed on all Mountain Line buses courtesy of Community Medical Center.
- 3-slot bike carriers were mounted on all Mountain Line buses and four bike stations were constructed in Missoula featuring public work stands with attached tools to repair bikes, vending machines stocked with bike parts, and bike parking. Over the past 12 months Mountain Line has carried over 33,000 bicycles on its buses.
- With a high level of public involvement, short and long range plans were created for the transit district, which include a 5-phase blueprint for improvements of Mountain Line services through the year 2040. A cost-neutral Phase I was implemented, introducing Missoula’s first ever 15 minute all-day bus frequency on the system’s busiest bus route—branded as BOLT! service. Ridership on this route has increased by over 50% since implementation.
- Provided planning for Phase II, which was subsequently funded by voters in the fall of 2013. Phase II includes additional BOLT! service, late evening service on the system’s four most popular bus routes and improvements to specialized transportation for disabled and senior residents. Improvements will be implemented on January 5, 2015. Additionally, provided planning for a coalition of government, nonprofit and local business organizations to fund Zero-fare for Mountain Line that will also begin on January 5, 2015.
Transit planners estimate that with the implementation of voter approved improvements and the coalition funded Zero-fare on January 5, 2015, ridership on Mountain Line will increase 45% over the next three years.
“I’m proud of our accomplishments at Mountain Line over the past four years,” said General Manager Michael Tree. “Missoula has a great transportation system that is becoming increasingly frequent, reliable and usable. Mountain Line is the perfect complement to Missoula’s vision of focusing inward and moving forward.”
Upon the departure of Michael Tree on November 7, 2014, Mountain Line’s Business Manager Dorothy Magnusen will serve as the Interim General Manager, with Operations Manager Jeff Logan overseeing the implementation of projects for near-future improvements at the transit agency.
For information on the General Manager job opening click here