New Bike Station Opens In Missoula - ABC FOX MONTANA NEWS, WEATHER, SPORTS - KTMF/KWYB

New Bike Station Opens In Missoula

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MISSOULA -

A new bike station is open for Missoula bus riders, just in time for Bike Walk Bus Week, which kicked off on Monday.

When the number of bike riders using public transportation hit an all time record, Mountain Line officials said it was time for them to come up with proper accommodations for Missoula bike riders.

For UM student Tayler Fink, along with countless others in Missoula, the ride of choice is a bike.

"Everyday to school, and back," Fink said.

She said with riding her bike so often, it's important to keep it maintained.

"A lot of people don't have tools to fix their bikes, and they'd have to take it into a shop and pay money," Fink said.

To help bike riders like Fink, on Monday Mountain Line and the Missoula Ravalli Transportation Management Association opened a new bike station at the Lewis and Clark Transit Center on Higgins Ave.

"If someone's riding their bike, and they have a flat, they can stop at the station and fill it with air," said Lyn Hellegaard, executive director of the Missoula Ravalli Transportation Management Association.

The bike station is equipped with air and tools to keep you're bike in top riding shape.

Hellegaard added, "We have tubes, tires and bike lights in there."

After noticing a 10,000 person increase last year in the number of bus riders traveling with a bike, the Federal Transit Administration gave a grant to the city to better accommodate Missoula's bikers.

"Its a great way to get some exercise, and use the public transportation system in Missoula," Hellegaard said.

Part of the grant went to a covered bike station built last fall at the downtown transit center, and $8,500 went in to building the new station.

"We see a lot of people who ride the flat, and don't want to ride up the hill at five at night, so they can put their bike on the bus and ride up the hill," Hellegaard said.

Mountain Line officials said they hope to build one more bike station at Southgate Mall. The rest of the grant money went to new bike racks on the buses, and increased bike racks at both bike stations.

"it's cool they have these supplies, and the extra bike racks is great, because they really pile up when there's only a couple available," Fink said.

Bus rides are free this week. Mountain Line officials said they hope to have that third bike station in place this spring at Southgate Mall.

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