Streamline celebrates two million riders

The Streamline Bus System celebrated its two millionth rider on Feb. 3. Providing free public transportation, the Streamline has become a widely used resource for Bozeman residents.

The Streamline, which began in 2001 through the Human Resource Development Center (HRDC), serves the greater Bozeman area. Five different routes run during the week as well as a Saturday schedule and a late-night downtown schedule that runs Thursday through Sunday evenings.

ASMSU Latenight Streamline Director EJ Hanson explained that bus drivers records each rider that entered the bus using a tablet. As the number of riders grew closer to two million, Hanson and others began to collaborate on how to celebrate the Streamline’s two millionth rider.

In preparation for the celebration, donations were gathered from ASMSU, MSU and HDRC and made into a “swag bag.” When the two millionth rider exited the Streamline bus in front of the SUB, he was greeted by representatives who handed him the MSU-themed prize.

“ASMSU was really one of the first partners HRDC had that helped get the Streamline going. They are one of our very key partners,” said Dave Kack, the HRDC board chair.

MSU students, staff and faculty constitute a large percentage of the users, utilizing the Streamline for transportation to and from MSU. Kack said, “Around 48 percent of the riders are MSU students and about 14 percent are MSU faculty and staff.”

“The Streamline is a valuable service for the Bozeman community and MSU … We are hoping to see ridership continue to increase,” Marianne Brough, ASMSU director of operations, said.

According to Kack, surveys show 40 percent of the riders have available cars at home which means they are taking up less space in the parking lots.

ASMSU senator and liaison to the Streamline Carsten Kirby said that he and the two other Streamline liaisons work closely with Hanson and HRDC to ensure everything is running smoothly. “It is really exciting that we have reached our two millionth rider, and it’s great to see ridership increasing,” he said.

This is not the first time the Streamline has celebrated a milestone, and it will not be the last. “It took us about five years and three months to get to one million riders and around three years and three months to get the next million,” Kack said.