MISSOULA, Mont.—Starting July 10, Mountain Line will expand to seven-day service by adding Sunday service for the first time ever and operating later into the evening, increasing service by 30%.
“This is a transformative moment for Mountain Line,” said Corey Aldridge, Mountain Line CEO and general manager. “We’re grateful to be fully staffed and able to make our dream of seven-day service a reality this summer.”
This service expansion is a direct response to public input gathered during Mountain Line’s strategic planning process that began in 2017 and culminated in 2020 when voters approved the agency’s service-expansion initiative by a 20% margin. While the timeline for service expansions was impacted by the national labor shortage in 2021, the agency has successfully grown from 58 employees in April of 2021, to 100 employees in April of this year.
Highlights of the July 10service expansion include:
*Hours vary by route.
These service expansions will benefit fixed-route riders, and seniors and people living with disabilities who use Mountain Line’s Paratransit and Shuttle Van services.
Also starting July 10, the agency will be changing some routing on Routes 3, 5 and 11, (details available online), and increasing service on holidays. Effective the same date, Mountain Line will operate every day except New Year’s Day, Independence Day, Thanksgiving Day, and Christmas Day.
“Mountain Line benefits us all by helping students get to school, employees get to work and seniors and those living with disabilities remain mobile and active. Even those who don’t ride benefit from reduced traffic congestion, decreased parking demand and cleaner air,” said Jesse Dodson, Missoula Urban Transportation District board chair. “We’re excited to amplify these benefits this summer to help build a healthier, more equitable community.”
Detailed schedules and more information can be found at mountainline.com/service-expansion.
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.