To consolidate, disseminate, and gather information concerning the 710 expansion into our San Rafael neighborhood and into our surrounding neighborhoods. If you have an item that you would like posted on this blog, please e-mail the item to Peggy Drouet at pdrouet@earthlink.net

Thursday, August 14, 2014

Zero-fare Mountain Line bus service coming to Missoula


By Eric Clements, August 12, 2014

MISSOULA - Missoula's public bus service is about to be a little easier on the wallet.

The Missoula Urban Transportation District has announced the Zero-Fare demonstration project, which will last at least three years.

Beginning on Jan. 5, Missoula will join nearly 40 other U.S. cities running zero-fare transit. The move is a response to community partners requests for a three-year, zero-fare testing phase for Mountain Line.

The community partners - including the University of Montana, Missoula Aging Services and the Missoula Downtown Association - will help fund the project.

Missoula Urban Transportation District general manager Michael Tree says public transportation ridership increases significantly in cities where it is implemented. It expected the program will increase ridership by 45%, reduce operating costs, and speed-up boarding times.

"The fact is, it's free - It's as easy as it could possibly be, and when you combine that with the new schedules, the new availability, the frequency of service, the bus is no longer an alternative means of transportation." Missoula Mayor John Engen said. "For a lot of folks, it can become a primary means of transportation."

In addition to the three-year zero-fare period, Mountain Line will extend services until 10 p.m. on its four most popular routes, as well as improve door-to-door service for senior and disabled passengers.