Streamline Bus

An Orange Line Streamline Bus turns east onto Main Street Wednesday, April 22, 2020, in downtown Bozeman.

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The nonprofit that operates the Streamline Bus service is asking Gallatin County residents for feedback on the redesign of routes in hopes of persuading more people to use public transportation.

The Human Resource Development Council recently launched an online survey for recommendations on how to improve its bus line and better serve residents. HRDC, Bozeman, Belgrade, Gallatin County, Bozeman Health and the Montana Department of Transportation chipped in for the redesign.

The survey asks how often a person rides the bus, which line they ride and if a they’d be more likely to catch a ride if a stop was closer to their home.

The survey is part of a larger project to identify travel patterns in Gallatin County, evaluate the bus system and create a plan for better service in Bozeman, Belgrade and Three Forks. Consultants recently completed an analysis of the strengths and weaknesses of the transit line.

Vanessa Palmer, HRDC’s transportation program manager, said the next step is getting feedback from residents. After that, she said, the nonprofit will determine service recommendations with the help of consultants.

Sunshine Ross, HRDC’s transportation director, said the bus routes were designed more than 15 years ago and have had only slight adjustments since. The recommendations would be a foundation for redesigning routes, she said.

“We really need to know where people want to go … so we could better serve the community,” Ross said.

Depending on funding, she said, the bus line may be able to add new routes.

Ross said the nonprofit is looking to host virtual town halls some time in the coming months. The nonprofit will revise and finalize the transit development plan to put before an advisory board for consideration this fall.

Riders could see changes as early as fall 2021.

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Freddy Monares can be reached at fmonares@dailychronicle.com or at 406-582-2630.

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