For those who dread driving around the busy streets of Bozeman, fret no longer. Streamline Bus Services recently revamped its offerings to accommodate the growing community. Transportation was one of three major priority areas in the city’s equity analysis revealed last month, along with housing and health. The updated services began on Monday, Aug. 16, and introduced bi-directional routes and extended operating times. During its 15 years of service, this is the first time the bus system has undergone a significant change.
“Transportation is commonly one of the top needs and people are continuously asking for new public transportation options,” Vanessa Palmer, the transportation program manager at the Human Resource Development Council, told The Bozeman Daily Chronicle. “Our old system was a lot of one-way loops that were really great for coverage but weren’t really great for the utility of the system.”
The changes also consist of a new route, the brown line, which will connect Gallatin and Bozeman high schools to downtown where riders can transfer to other lines. Most routes are hourly services with two lines running until 10 p.m. Streamline had originally planned to run some routes every half-hour. However, they are holding off until a time later this fall due to staffing challenges.
“I’m super excited for the new route coming close to my house,” said Brynn Barriger, a junior majoring in architecture. “Now, I can be picked up at my stop and 20 minutes later be dropped off right at the SUB. I will save money and won’t have to stress about driving through Bozeman’s busy traffic.”
Streamline will also be expanding its weekend service. Late night service will run from downtown to surrounding areas Thursday, Friday and Saturday night from 8 p.m. - 2:30 a.m.
According to Palmer, the new routes will increase this year’s budget to about $2.3 million. The ability to expand this budget was credited to local partners who increased funding. Among those local partners was ASMSU who approved a raise of $4.55 in student bus fees this year, making the total fee for each student $10 per semester.
Visit https://streamlinebus.com/new-streamline-routes/ to view the updated bus schedule and to see whether a new route is coming to a stop near you. For those who are new riders, make sure to remember to bring a face mask and maintain social distancing.