Mountain Line is committed to moving Missoula forward sustainably. Public transit naturally lends itself to a more sustainable future by reducing traffic congestion and exhaust emissions, leading to cleaner air and a healthier, more active community. And, at Mountain Line, we’re dedicated to doing even more. That’s why we’ve committed to a zero-tailpipe-emissions fleet by 2035, invested in a growing fleet of electric buses, and have strong partnerships throughout our community to provide multimodel transportation at zero-fare.
At Mountain Line, we’ve committed to the goal of eliminating all tailpipe emissions from our fleet by 2035. This resolution, adopted by our board of directors in February 2020, will move our community forward sustainably, while protecting air quality across the Missoula Valley.
Clean air is important to the health of everyone in our community, whether you frequently ride the bus or not. Cleaner air means healthier lungs. Healthier lungs means healthier people and a stronger, healthier community.
Despite improvements over the past decade, air quality remains a serious issue in Missoula, especially during winter inversions and summer wildfire season. Our zero-tailpipe-emissions resolution considers scientists’ projections that wildfire seasons will become longer and more severe due to a warming climate, which could significantly impact Missoula’s airshed.
Mountain Line also factored in the Greenhouse Gas Inventory conducted by Climate Smart Missoula in March 2017 that found transportation to be the largest source of local greenhouse gas emissions.
This resolution formalizes Mountain Line’s long-standing commitment to clean air, public health and its support of Missoula County’s goal of carbon neutrality for all government operations by 2035. Mountain Line intends to meet its own 2035 zero-tailpipe-emissions goal, in part, by continuing to invest in electric buses and other sustainable transportation technology as it becomes available. Read the full resolution.
In May 2020 we received exciting news: Mountain Line was awarded TWO separate grants to purchase a total of four new electric buses, plus charging stations and infrastructure.
These new buses will make for a total of 12 electric vehicles on the road when they arrive, (two in the spring of 2021 and four in early 2022), bringing our fleet to over 40 percent all-electric. We added our first six electric buses to the fleet in 2019, after successfully competing for an earlier FTA Low- or No-Emissions grant.
In January 2015, Mountain Line transitioned to a zero-fare system, with the help of local government, businesses and nonprofits. Since then, ridership has increased by almost 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 demand for parking, Mountain Line benefits the entire community.