In 2012, the Missoula residents participated in an extensive planning process to define the future of Mountain Line bus services through 2040. The process indicated a strong community desire for late evening service, more frequency of buses on the fixed routes, and an increased level of door-to-door service for seniors and people with disabilities.
Shortly thereafter, in November of 2013, Missoulians approved a 14.5 mill levy increase for the following improvements that were implemented on January 5, 2015:
Late Evening Service
Mountain Line operates until almost 10 p.m. on weekdays on routes 1, 2, 6, and 7, the four most popular bus routes. Smaller buses will operate the late evening service from 7 p.m. to 9:50 p. m. on an hourly frequency.
More BOLT! Service
In August 2012, Mountain Line introduced its first BOLT! service route, a 15-minute all day service on Route 1, which connects the downtown with the University of Montana and mid-town’s Southgate Mall.
On January 5, 2015, Route 2 was added to BOLT! service. Route 2 serves St. Patrick Hospital on Spruce, Target and other popular shopping destinations in the north Reserve area, residential areas on Russell and Johnson Street, and mid-town’s Southgate Mall. Route 2 will be interlined with Route 1, meaning residents who board the bus anywhere along Route 2 won’t need to transfer to another bus to reach destinations along Route 1.
The BOLT! service on Routes 1 and 2 begins at 7 a.m. and continues until 5:45 p.m. Beginning at 5:45 p.m. Routes 1 and 2 operate on 45-minute frequency until 7p.m. when they begin hourly late-evening service.
Improvements for Route 6
On January 5, 2015, Mountain Line introduced 30-minute all-day service on Route 6. This popular bus route leaves the Downtown Transfer Center and travels south on Higgins Avenue past Hellgate High School, then to Bancroft Street past Sentinel High School and Splash Montana before arriving at the YMCA on Russell Street, then moving on to mid-town’s Southgate Mall. Finally, it travels from Southgate Mall to Community Medical Center, offering residents a one-seat ride from the downtown area to the hospital.
Improvements for Senior and Disabled Residents
Beginning on January 5, 2015, door-to-door service for seniors and disabled residents was extended until 10p.m. Additionally, more service was added to accommodate an increasing number of senior and disabled residents in the community who cannot access the fixed route system.
Mountain Line to Operate Zero-fare
Thanks to the generous support of community partners Mountain Line began operating Zero-fare on January 5, 2015. All Mountain Line services will operate Zero-fare, including door-to-door service for seniors and residents with disabilities until December 31, 2020. For more information click on the Zero-fare icon.