Montana school offers ‘sneak preview’ of bus service

Posted on April 27, 2009

The University of Montana in Missoula is offering a “sneak preview” of a new bus service slated to begin this fall if students vote to support a transportation fee increase of $3.50 per semester.

The Associated Students of UM (ASUM) Office of Transportation unveiled the service today. It will run through Wednesday.

Nancy Wilson, director of the Office of Transportation, said the proposed service upgrade is needed due to increased demand. “This preview is a good excuse to try and see if this service will help,” she said. “So far, it is.”

The new service will shuttle students, faculty and staff between main campus, an outlying college and a park-and-ride lot. Buses will run with a frequency of five to 15 minutes.

If students support the increase, the transportation fee will be $27 per semester. The fee goes toward the university’s Park-N-Ride services, U-DASH late-night downtown service, bike check-out programs, bike ambassadors, bike racks and outreach programs.

Wilson is confident that students will back the increased transportation fee. “In the past we have had huge support for our fees,” she said.

The fee increase would double the current bus service, increase the number of bike ambassadors, double the semester bike check-out program, replace the university’s aging Bio Bus and help build a bus garage.

Last year the ASUM Office of Transportation provided 312,970 rides on its eight buses.

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