Buses hoped for Bozeman sent to Missoula

Two new electric buses are destined for Missoula, after the city of Bozeman applied for them but organizers found Missoula was in greater need due to its air quality issues.

The Western Transportation Institute at Montana State University recently worked with the Montana Department of Transportation to bring new buses to the city of Bozeman.

The Institute applied for funding through a federal grant to purchase two battery-electric buses for the Streamline and Skyline bus systems.

Current city buses use diesel to operate. The thought was that these buses would help contribute to an eco-friendly transit system.

The grant was open to all 50 states and about 125 buses were up for grabs.

But organizers say due to the cleaner air in Bozeman, the two battery-powered electric buses will instead go to Missoula. 

Air quality is worse in Missoula due to the way air gets trapped in the valley.

The two battery-powered buses will contribute to zero emissions being released in the air helping the air quality in Missoula.

Even though Bozeman did not get the new electric buses, using public transportation contributes to an eco-friendly environment.

“The transit system can do its part to minimize air pollution, certainly, a diesel bus with 20 people on it is a lot more environmentally friendly than those 20 people out driving their own cars,” David Kack, Manager for the Western Transportation Institute said.

Kack says their goal is to still apply for the same grant to get electric buses down the road.

Reporter, Wake Up Montana

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