For Immediate Release: August 10, 2021
MISSOULA – This week, Missoula will host the seventh-annual Community Transportation Association of America (CTAA) Small Urban Network (SUN) Conference. This is a national conference for public transportation agencies serving urban areas with a population size of 50,000 to 200,000, which includes Missoula’s community bus service, Mountain Line.
Representatives from over 50 transit agencies across the United States will be in attendance, with sessions kicking off Wednesday afternoon at the Holiday Inn Downtown and lasting through Friday. The conference will include a welcome message from Senator Steve Daines, remarks from Missoula Mayor John Engen, and a special message from Senator Tester to launch the Legislative and Policy Update session.
The keynote speech will be delivered by Andrea Davis, the executive director of Homeword, a Missoula-based organization focused on affordable housing and financial sustainability. Davis, who also serves on the Missoula Urban Transportation District Board of Directors, will discuss affordable housing and community equity issues while tying in how mobility and accessibility play a critical role in building sustainable, equitable communities.
During the conference transit leaders will also discuss the implications of the 2020 Census on Urban America, providing on-demand service in smaller communities, and building more sustainable fleets. As a national leader in transitioning to electric, Mountain Line will offer an in-depth tour and education session on its journey to a zero-tailpipe-emissions fleet, sharing lessons learned to help other agencies do the same.
“This conference affords us a valuable opportunity to share what we’ve learned during our transition to an electric fleet with other agencies,” said Mountain Line CEO and General Manager Corey Aldridge. “The more we can collaborate across the country, the more public transportation benefits us all.”
This is the second time this summer that Mountain Line’s commitments to sustainability have garnered national attention. The agency learned last month that it had won the prestigious 2021 Outstanding Public Transportation System Achievement Award, ranking it number one in North America in its size. The award specifically referenced the agency’s commitment to a zero-tailpipe-emissions fleet by 2035.
For more information about the CTAA SUN Conference, visit https://ctaa.org/sun-2021.
Mountain Line was named the top public transit agency in North America in its size in 2021, earning the American Public Transportation Association Outstanding Public Transportation System Achievement Award. The agency also won the MTA statewide safety award in 2021. Committed to a zero-tailpipe-emissions fleet by 2035, Mountain Line has a long-standing commitment to clean air, public health and a more sustainable future. Since becoming a zero-fare system in 2015, ridership has increased nearly 70 percent. During normal times, Mountain Line provides more than 1.5 million rides annually, helping students get to school, employees get to work, and seniors and those living with disabilities stay active, mobile and independent. By reducing the number of single vehicles on the road, lessening traffic congestion and investing in electric buses, Mountain Line benefits us all.