GALLATIN COUNTY — If you’re in Gallatin County and you’ve complained about parking or maybe even gas, have you ever utilized the free bus service?
“We’re really trying to look at how Gallatin Valley has grown and how we can serve it,” explained Sunshine Ross, HRDC Transportation Director.
And the Valley has certainly grown. The national census says the county added more than 29,000 people from 2010 to 2020 - one of several dozen counties in the country to see more than a 20 percent change.
“We just celebrated our 15th anniversary, so the routes were designed about 15 years ago, and obviously the community has changed," said Ross. "Now we have four in-town routes, and that’s a lot due to the growth. We previously only had three.”
New routes that are heavily traveled.
“A brand new route connecting Gallatin High School to Bozeman High and downtown and other routes," said Ross.
There are even routes designed with Montana State students and staff in mind.
“We are seeing MSU students using, and staff and faculty as well," said Ross. "They will use the pink line from Belgrade to get into MSU, and they’ll use brown line, which is the one that connects Gallatin High School and that west side of town. They’re using that to get up to MSU as well.”
The new routes and services are not just for college students or those without transportation. It’s for everyone.
“That was part of why we wanted to redesign the routes so that we could gain more riders that wanted to ride, but it just wasn’t convenient enough, so we do have a lot of riders that choose to ride," said Ross. "They have other transportation options, but they want to ride the bus. It’s really an enjoyable experience.”
For all the routes and times, you can visit here.