Streamline receives critical feedback from community

Riders appreciate Streamline bus service in the cold dark days of winter. Photo by Karissa Erickson.

Representatives of the Streamline bus system held a public forum on Tuesday, Nov. 13, which they referred to as “a community conversation” to develop a long-term five-year business plan and a shorter one-year plan.

Streamline buses provide a free mode of transportation to the students, faculty and staff of MSU as well as the Bozeman community.

Approximately 20 people attended the meeting and participated in the discussion, including two student senators, students who live in Belgrade, MSU staff members that use the Streamline to commute, and people with disabilities who depend on the bus system to get around town and to medical appointments.

While some said they depend on the Streamline every day, others had only taken advantage of the free bus system once or twice. Many expressed a need for routes to be expanded outside Bozeman city limits to accommodate students commuting to MSU. Students also called for a route to the airport and a bus stop closer to the public library.

One woman with a vision disability said the Streamline needs to make more accommodations for patrons like herself with disabilities, and explained it is sometimes unclear if she is boarding the correct bus.

Some praised the improvements the Streamline has made since its first year of operation in 2006. Students said they appreciate the new schedule, which corresponds with class times and makes their commutes more convenient. Others stated that the drivers’ attitudes have improved remarkably.

The Streamline’s advisory committee is working with a consulting company, Current Transportation Solutions, to build both the long and short-term plans. The company has been collecting data from onboard surveys to help make the Streamline a more productive form of transportation.

A draft of the business plan, which is currently in development, will be posted on the Streamline website — www.streamlinebus.com — in the coming months and emailed to the attendees of the forum.