Demand for Public Transportation to Trails, Rivers, Lakes Seen as Feasible

June 12, 2014

MISSOULA – A new study conducted by the Institute for Tourism and Recreation Research at the University of Montana’s College of Forestry and Conservation found there is a demand for public transportation to and from trailheads as well as river- and lake-access sites throughout the Top 10 Scenic Drives in the tri-state area of Montana, Wyoming and Idaho.

The project was supported in part by a National Scenic Byway Grant through the U.S. Federal Highway Administration, U.S. Department of Transportation and funded through the Yellowstone Business Partnership.

Public comment is being sought on the draft report and is due by 10 p.m. MDT, Friday, June 20. The report can be found online at

The Buses For Byways project seeks to determine ways to provide recreation access to those who desire or require public transportation services along the Top 10 Scenic Drives in the Northern Rockies.

A multistate consortium of drive coordinators and mobility managers teamed with researchers from the ITRR to conduct a four-season survey of tourism suppliers, ski resorts, outfitters and guides who transport guests and/or staff as part of their operations. Supply and demand data have been analyzed and recommendations presented in the report, which describes how rural transportation providers might be integrated into an efficient regional network to serve more byway travelers.

For more information call ITRR Director Norma Nickerson at 406-243-2328 or email

Contact: Norma Nickerson, director, UM Institute for Tourism and Recreation Research, 406-243-2328,