NewsLocal News


HRDC seeks to create Urban Transportation District in Gallatin County

Streamlien Pic .jpg
Posted at 6:24 AM, Jul 15, 2022
and last updated 2022-07-15 08:24:19-04

The City of Bozeman hit a population of 50,000 after the 2020 census. HRDC is going to ask a portion of Gallatin County voters to approve a new Urban Transportation District which could shape the future of streamline in the county.

“16 years ago when we started Streamline that was really the recommendation, was to create an urban transportation district at some time-we are now at that time,” says HRDC Associate Director, Tracy Menuez.

With the 50,000-population threshold crossed, Bozeman is no longer rural in the eyes of the Federal Transit Administration; the city is now considered urban. Officials now look to create a jurisdiction within Gallatin County.

If approved by voters, a board made up of city and county officials and community leaders would have operating and taxing power for Streamline service.

“The Urban Transportation District is the next step in creating a collaborative and efficient transit system for our community,” says Executive Director of the Downtown Bozeman Partnership Ellie Staley.

The proposed district would span from Bozeman west to Four Corners, follow the Gallatin River North to Belgrade and then jog southeast along 1-90 towards Bozeman.

This is where a petition will go around to voters; they will be asked to approve the new district. Twenty percent of registered voters who live within the district must sign the petition before it makes it on the ballot. The election would take place in May 2023.

“From a rider perspective you may not actually notice the difference if the urban transportation district comes into place ,” says Menuez.

The big change will be how funding from the federal government is allocated; right now money comes from the federal government, goes to the state which then HRDC applies for. If the district gets approved the money would flow directly from the feds to the new district.

“Making this decision and creating this new district does not add a tax to the community or an added burden, this continues what we currently have established,” says Staley,

Menuez with HRDC says that if those in the district see the need to expand services, then they would be able to vote on whether to create a tax in the district, but that can’t happen until a district is created. Voters would have to approve that, and only affect voters who live in that district.

“You have to set up the distrct in order to even go back and ask folks how they want to fund the district,” says Menuez.

Once the election administrator approves this proposal from HRDC, petitioners will be out for 90 days which you could start seeing in early to mid-August.