BOZEMAN, Mont.- Both Big Sky & Bozeman are looking to expand their transportation systems, which will cost a little over $2 million dollars.
The need for the expansion comes from the new residents traveling into both cities each day. Western Transportation Institute Program Manager David Kack said the need for more bus routes keeps increasing day by day.
“I think over the next couple of years, with the growth in both communities, there is going to be a push to really find some funding to have some increase in service,” said Kack.
Kack said Streamline is looking to add more stops out to the northwest part of Bozeman where the new high school will be open in the next year. In Big Sky, Kack said two-thirds of the workers commute into town because of the cost of living, resulting in an increase of traffic on Highway 191. To try and decrease this, as well as give people a reliable ride to work each day, the bus service needs to add more routes to and from Bozeman at more frequent time periods.
The cost of these updates isn’t cheap. Kack said the price tag would be near $1 million each to get all of the routes and stops added.
“I hope people see the benefits of transit and as we have discussions with a lot of partners that they will be willing to step and invest some in public transportation,” said Kack.
Streamline and Skyline’s annual budget is about $2 million, meaning the cost of the expansion is about half each system’s budget. The money for this budget comes from groups like the Montana Department of Transportation, Montana State University, the city of Bozeman, and Big Sky Resort. Kack hopes all partners can come together and give their portion in order to fill the need.