Over a third of Missoula’s carbon emission are from the transportation sector. This is one of the most harmful sectors for our environment. The amount of fossil fuels required in transport, flying, and personal use releases pollutants into the air, affects water resources, increases noise pollution, increases health risks, and damages ecosystems.
OF HOUSEHOLD SPENDING
According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, in 2020, household incomes between $49k-62k, spent 15-20% of their household incomes on transportation costs. Transportation spending remains the second highest expense of after-tax income.
CAR OWNERHSIP: $9,000
PER PERSON, PER YEAR
The national average annual cost of automobile ownership went up to almost $9,700 in 2021. Roughly 13.8% of Missoulians fall at or below the poverty line, and the costs of car ownership can be a financial burden. Alternate modes of transportation, like busing, biking and walking, can lower household costs.
ELECTRIC VEHICLES: SAVE ON EMISSIONS AND COSTS
If you chose to purchase a personal vehicle, electric vehicles can offer substantial savings in cost, as well as greenhouse gas emissions. Choosing an electric vehicle means it can be powered by electricity from solar, wind, or hydropower generation. Here in Montana, the Alternative Fuels Data Center shows electric vehicles generate much less emissions than regular gas-powered vehicles. On top of these savings, a DOE commissioned study notes that switching to an electric vehicle can save as much as $14,480 in fueling costs over 15 years.
MOUNTAIN LINE’S EV FLEET AVOIDS EMISSIONS
Mountain Line has a sustainability goal of zero-tailpipe emissions by 2035. As of right now, they currently have 12 zero-emissions buses in their fleet. These buses avoid almost 104 MT of CO2e/year/bus. This is equivalent to removing 271 passenger vehicles driven for one year.
TRANSPORTATION: OVER 396,000 MTCO2E
In 2019, over 396,000 metric tons of CO2e (36% of our community’s greenhouse gas emissions) were emitted through various modes of transportation, mostly from tailpipe emissions. This is equivalent to almost 438 million pounds of coal burned.
338 MT OF CO2E
Missoula in Motion reports that 338 metric tons of CO2e were avoided in 2020 due to the sustainable trips that community members logged. This is equivalent to nearly 850k miles driven by the average passenger vehicle.
If you enjoy walking and biking, there are several neighborhood greenways that provide safe and convenient pathways near main streets, with low-speed limits and more vegetation and tree-cover to enhance your comfort and enjoyment during your journey.
TRANSPORTATION AND HEALTH
Opting to take the bus, bike, walk, or drive a low emission vehicle can have positive impacts on the health of your community, especially given Missoula’s unique geography. Due to our winter inversions, vehicle emissions can get trapped close to the ground and expose our community to higher levels of detrimental air pollution than we would otherwise experience. Using public transportation, biking, walking, or driving an electric vehicle can all minimize vehicle emissions and their impacts to our community’s health.
BICYCLE FRIENDLY COMMUNITY
With over 20 miles of off-street trails and 40 miles of on-street bike lanes, over 50% of Missoulians commute via bicycle. The League of American Bicyclists has designated the city as a Gold level Bicycle Friendly Community. Check out our community’s interactive bicycle map.
2050 LONG-RANGE TRANSPORTATION PLAN
The Long-Range Transportation Plan was updated and finalized in June 2021. This plan recommends 71 programs to meet goals in: complete streets, urban active transportation improvements, shared-use paths and trail extension, safety improvements & enhanced crossings, roadway extensions, and bridge or crossing improvements. Each of these strategies support our community in transitioning to low-energy transportation options, like using public transportation, van-pools, biking, walking, and more.
MOUNTAIN LINE: 28%
SERVICE AREA INCREASE
In 2020, Missoula voters approved a service expansion for Mountain Line to operate seven days a week. This expansion increased the service area by 28%, which included additional routes and times. This also provides more service to disadvantaged communities, increasing access to sustainable transportation. Check out Mountain Line’s current routes.
BEARTRACKS BRIDGE AND THE HIGGINS AVE
The Beartracks Bridge Rehabilitation and the Higgins Avenue Corridor Plan are each reaching completion this Winter 2023. Biking and pedestrian traffic has increased in this corridor overtime, and these projects focus on improving the safety and comfort of bikers and pedestrians in this corridor by creating or protecting bike lands and expanding sidewalks.
- Electric Vehicles - learn more about why switching to electric vehicles is beneficial to our environment and your budget
- Infrastructure & Mobility - learn more about the City's utility and transportation services and their projects
- Missoula Connect - learn more about the guiding long-range transportation plan for the next 30 years in Missoula
- Missoula In Motion - learn about sustainable transportation and services able to individuals and workplaces
- Mountain Line - take a ride on one of several, free bus routes servicing Missoula
- Neighborhood Greenways - explore neighborhoods designed for walking, biking, and running with low-traffic congestion
WAY TO GO! MISSOULA
Are you into sustainable commuting? “Way to Go! Missoula” allows you to log your trips, utilize sustainable routes, analyze your commuting stats, provide feedback for building safe infrastructure, and even earn rewards!
Wondering what’s going on with the various transportation projects throughout the City? Engage Missoula is a great way to find project details, timelines, and voice your opinion the planning process.
NEED HELP WITH ALTERNATE MODES OF TRANSPORTATION?
Missoula in Motion is a one stop shop to assist residents with education and programs to enhance equitable modes of transportations, ranging from walking, biking, public transit, carpooling/vanpooling, and telecommuting.