APTA Award

Mountain Line Celebrates 44 Years This December

December 10, 2021

MISSOULA – Mountain Line, Missoula’s community bus service, celebrates its 44th anniversary this month. To commemorate this milestone, staff will be riding along various routes the week of December 13th, passing out Mountain Line swag and treats to riders. 

Mountain Line began operating on December 12, 1977, with just three routes and four buses based in East Missoula. Since then, Mountain Line has grown into a robust public transportation agency, providing an average of 1.5 million rides annually across 70 square miles in the Missoula Valley, all at zero-fare.  

“I am humbled by all our agency has accomplished in forty-four years, thanks to our forward-thinking staff, board of directors, and community,” said CEO and General Manager, Corey Aldridge. “Mountain Line is now a leader among small urban networks, paving the way on initiatives like transitioning to a zero-tailpipe-emissions fleet and debuting safety and technology efforts often only seen at larger agencies.” 

Mountain Line was recognized for its accomplishments this year by the American Public Transportation Association, earning APTA’s top distinction of 2021 Outstanding Public Transportation System in North America in its size. This award recognized Mountain Line’s efforts to create a more equitable, accessible community, among other accomplishments. 

“Mountain Line benefits us all, from getting people where they need to go, to helping keep our valley air clean,” said Aldridge. “We’re excited to amplify those benefits moving into our forty-fourth year, by offering seven-day and seven-night service in the months to come.” 

Last year, Missoula voters overwhelming approved a plan to expand Mountain Line’s service to include Sundays and later evenings. The agency is prepared to debut that expanded service once adequately staffed. To learn more about upcoming expansions, or to start your new career, visit mountainline.com.  


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 Montana Transit Association 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.