Starting Monday, May 11, Mountain Line riders will be required to wear a mask or other cloth covering their nose and mouth while on board all fixed-route buses and paratransit vehicles. Also effective Monday, Routes 1 and 2 will return to operating on 15-minute frequencies. For the time being, COVID-19-adjusted hours are still in effect, with service offered from 6:45 a.m. to 7:15 p.m.
“We thank all riders in advance for covering their faces while on board,” said Director of Operations, Jennifer Sweten. “Wearing a face covering is an important step we can take to protect one another from the spread of COVID-19, especially as our community reopens and ridership increases. My mask protects you and your mask protects me.”
The requirement to wear a face covering does not apply to children under the age of 2 or to individuals who are unable to wear a mask or face covering due to a medical condition.
Mountain Line is still asking all riders to use its services only as needed and to follow all best practices for guarding against COVID-19 as outlined by the Missoula City-County Health Department.
"We have already begun to see an increase in ridership as Missoula reopens and we are monitoring capacity closely," said Sweten. "Restoring 15-minute service on Routes 1 and 2 is in direct response to the need for more physical distancing space for riders along those routes."
All COVID-19 safety measures are still in place, including allocated physical-distancing space behind each bus operator, rear-door boarding unless assistance is required, and the sanitizing of all vehicles multiple times daily. The Downtown Transfer Center will remain closed until further notice, though Ninja Mike’s is still open with takeout available from the curbside window.
Updated route schedules are available at www.mountainline.com/covid19.
In April 2020, Mountain Line committed to a zero-tailpipe-emissions fleet by 2035. This commitment solidified Mountain Line’s long-standing commitment to clean air, public health and a more sustainable future. Mountain Line became a Zero-fare system in 2015, made possible through partnerships with local government, businesses and nonprofits. Since the debut of Zero-fare, ridership has increased 70 percent. Mountain Line now provides more than 1.5 million rides annually, helping students get to school, employees get to work, and helping seniors and people 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.