Zero-fare Project Continues to Break Ridership Records

091715_15The leaves keep falling and so do the records for Mountain Line, Missoula’s public transit system, now in its ninth straight month of growth. Mountain Line’s three-year Zero-fare demonstration project began in January 2015, and continues to be a big success as the agency continues to experience record ridership each month. Mountain Line provided 110,237 rides in September, a 43 percent increase over last year. Overall, the cumulative ridership is up 36 percent since January.

“Zero-fare makes our service available to more people. With more people riding the bus, the whole community benefits from improved air quality, less traffic congestion, and a higher quality of life,” said

Corey Aldridge, Mountain Line General Manager. “The Zero-fare demonstration project wouldn’t have been possible without the support of our community partners and they deserve a big thank you for making this happen.”

Mountain Line’s Zero-fare partners include the University of Montana, Associated Students of the University of Montana, City of Missoula, County of Missoula, the Missoula Metropolitan Planning Organization, St. Patrick Hospital, Community Medical Center, Missoula County Public Schools, Missoula Aging Services, Missoula Downtown Association, Missoula Parking Commission, Missoulian, Southgate Mall, and Homeword.  Before Zero-fare, many of these organizations would purchase bus passes for students or their employees to ride fare-free. Now thanks to their investment, these benefits are extended to all Missoulians.

“There’s never been a better time to get on the bus,” Aldridge added. “Hop on and enjoy the ride.”