Missoula’s community bus system is starting 2015 with a new year’s resolution to give more rides than ever before. Beginning today, Mountain Line has a number of new services that make hopping on board the bus an easy and accessible option for many Missoulians. Mountain Line officials say encouraging people to take the bus benefits everyone by decreasing traffic congestion, improving air quality and helping older Missoulians and people with disabilities remain active and mobile.
The 2013 voter approved mill levy goes into effect today, implementing Phase II of the Long Range Transportation Plan. Mountain Line’s Route 2 has become Missoula’s second Bolt! route bringing 15 minute service to places including the Westside, North Reserve, the Good Food Store and Southgate Mall. Additionally, Late Evening service on routes 1, 2, 6 and 7 enable Missoulians to access transit until 9:50pm Monday through Friday. Finally, people with disabilities will see increased Paratransit support.
In addition to the Phase II improvements, Mountain Line is launching a three-year Zero-fare demonstration project sponsored by 14 different community partners. Mountain Line’s partners support Zero-fare community transit to substantially increase ridership, help our buses operate more efficiently, and make better use of transit dollars. Missoula Mayor John Engen is a supporter of Zero-fare adding “A fare, no matter how small, is a barrier for some folks that keeps them from riding the bus. Breaking down barriers to public transportation means we all pay less in the long run, that our air is cleaner, our roads suffer a little less wear and tear , traffic is tempered and, most importantly, all of our citizens have access to safe, efficient transportation.”
The benefits of Zero-fare service are expected to be seen over the next few years according to Mountain Line officials. “Zero-fare service combined with Phase II improvements is expected to result in a 45% increase in ridership over the next three years, which benefits us all” said Mountain Line Spokesperson Topher Williams. “Mountain Line has been our community bus system for nearly 37 years, we are excited this new chapter in which public transportation is more accessible than it has ever been before.”
For more information on Mountain Line, Zero-fare, Phase II or other changes to the system, please visit http://www.mountainline.com/your-future-mountain-line. If you have any further questions about Mountain Line please contact Topher Williams at firstname.lastname@example.org.