Effective Wednesday, April 8, Mountain Line will expand its Route 2 frequency and suspend its Route 1 service until further notice. Route 1 riders will still be served by Routes 6, 7 and 12. This change will not impact paratransit service.
Currently, Route 2 is serving the most riders in Missoula. This change will introduce additional buses to the route, arriving every 30 minutes, to afford Route 2 riders more opportunity for physical distancing while on board. Mountain Line requests all riders wear masks or other cloth that covers their nose and mouth while on board any of its vehicles, and to refrain from boarding a bus with more than 10 passengers if their schedule permits.
“We are asking all riders to limit their trips to essential travel only. This includes trips to the grocery store, pharmacy, non-COVID-19-related medical appointments and work,” said Mountain Line General Manager, Corey Aldridge. “We’ve continued to see a sharp decline in ridership, which means people are listening, and now we’re doing all we can to further protect those riders who truly depend on our essential service.”
The agency is working quickly to post updated route schedules at bus stops and on its mobile app; however, it may take several days to fully saturate the community with the updated times. Given how rapidly circumstances are changing due to the COVID-19 pandemic, Mountain Line asks all riders to default to schedules posted at www.mountainline.com/covid19 for the most up-to-date information.
“Our ridership is down to the people who truly depend on us for essential travel,” said Jennifer Sweten, director of operations at Mountain Line. “That’s why Mountain Line will maintain as much service to the Missoula community as we can, for as long as possible.”
For anyone experiencing symptoms, Mountain Line asks they avoid public transportation and visit Missoula County’s website for resources and next steps at http://covid19.missoula.co/testinghealth.