Gallatin Valley Urban Transportation District (UTD)

On Tuesday, May 2nd, voters approved the creation of the Gallatin Valley Urban Transportation District (UTD) by a margin of 14,654 votes (79.2%) to 3,855 votes (20.8%). The Special District election was conducted by mail, with ballots being mailed out on Friday, April 14th.

In addition to asking questions related to various school districts, this ballot asked voters living in Bozeman, Belgrade, and areas in between if they wanted to create the Gallatin Valley Urban Transportation District. With its approval, this District will be the future home of Streamline.

To learn more about the Gallatin Valley UTD, please continue reading below:

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HRDC’s Streamline — now celebrating its 16th year — launched with a mission to provide mobility services and alternatives to single-occupancy vehicles in southwest Montana. This mission is increasingly more important as our community grows.

Our Streamline service helps meet the needs of our increasing population in a number of ways, benefiting not just riders, but everyone living in the Gallatin Valley. One way to help Streamline to expand and address these growing needs is to create an Urban Transportation District (UTD) within our community.


What is an Urban Transportation District (UTD)?

A UTD is an entity created to operate a transportation system. It includes a governing board charged with managing the operation, infrastructure, and activities of the public transportation system.

Why would Gallatin County consider forming a UTD?

Once the 2020 Census results are officially certified, Bozeman will be classified as a “small urban area.” To continue receiving federal transit funds and to enable Streamline to keep pace with growing demand, a new funding structure is needed. A 2021 community report, and a subsequent community survey and stakeholder interview process, showed that community members support the creation of an Urban Transportation District to manage and fund Streamline. If a UTD is not created, the City, County, or the State could temporarily receive the federal transit funding on behalf of Streamline.

Why is a UTD the recommended option for moving forward?
A UTD allows for a single purpose entity to oversee transit operations in Gallatin Valley. Stakeholders believe that allowing a single-purpose entity to oversee transit operations in the Gallatin Valley would allow Streamline to maintain a collaborative and community-focused approach to public transit that allows for equal representation from all participating communities and governments in Gallatin County.

How is a UTD created?

Montana State law outlines the necessary steps for District formation. To create the Gallatin Valley Urban Transportation District:

  • 20% of registered voters within the proposed District must sign a petition.
  • The Gallatin County Commission must hold a public hearing and place the UTD on the May 2023 Special District election ballot.
  • A majority of registered voters from within the proposed district must vote “yes” to approve the UTD.

How would creating a UTD change Streamline?

The formation of a UTD would allow for the continuity of Streamline and Galavan services. Streamline would continue operating bus routes, bus stops, and paratransit services.

What impact would this have on taxpayers?

Forming an Urban Transportation District (UTD) will not impact taxpayers. Once the UTD is established, the Board would have authority to ask voters for additional investment through a Mill Levy if deemed appropriate in the future.

Why doesn’t Streamline implement a fare to fund the expansion of its service?

The United States has dozens of zero-fare transit systems — mostly in small, college towns, such as Bozeman. After having discussions with stakeholders and completing various research and analyses, HRDC has kept Streamline a zero-fare bus system because it is currently the most cost-effective way to run the system. Visit our zero-fare page to learn more.

Ballot Language

The ballot question for creating the Proposed District shall include the language required by § 7-14-211, MCA, and shall appear in substantially the following form:

Shall the Gallatin Valley Urban Transportation District be created?

☐ Transportation district — YES

☐ Transportation district — NO

(By voting yes, you support creation of the Gallatin Valley Urban Transportation District to supply public transportation services and facilities to district residents and other persons. The District will be governed and managed by a transportation board. The board shall have all powers necessary and proper to the establishment, operation, improvement, maintenance, and administration of the transportation district. There is no cost to form the district.)

Proposed District Boundaries

Registered voters within this boundary will be asked to sign a petition stating that they would like to vote on the formation of an Urban Transportation District on a Special District election ballot. If enough signatures are gathered, the UTD formation will appear on the May 2023 Special District ballot. Voters in the district would then vote “yes” or “no” on their ballots with regards to the district formation.

Gallatin Valley Urban Transportation District Interactive Map

Wondering if you live within the Urban Transportation District boundaries? Click the interactive map and search your home address to find out!

Petition Language

Statement of Purpose:

The purpose of the Gallatin Valley Urban Transportation District is to supply transportation services and facilities to district residents and other persons. Formation of a District will prevent the loss of federal funding for public transit through Streamline Bus service once the U.S. Census results certify Bozeman as a small urban area. Passage will enable the District to operate van services for seniors and people with disabilities, and Streamline routes and bus stops. The District boundaries reflect the current Streamline Bus service area and planned future service areas.

Fiscal Statement:
There is no cost to form the District.

FOR the creation of a Gallatin Valley Urban Transportation District…[ ] YES
AGAINST the creation of a Gallatin Valley Urban Transportation District…[ ] NO

Community Support

From business owners to students at MSU, we’ve been overwhelmed by community support for forming a UTD in Gallatin Valley. Our community certainly loves public transportation just as much as we do!

Alex Musar, ASMSU Senator: “First off, I would really like to thank the community. As a signature gatherer I was just overwhelmed by how positive all of the interactions were, very little pushback and people were really excited. It gives me a lot of hope for our future as we continue to grow.”
Mitch Bradley, Former business owner and Bozeman Resident: “As a business owner, I can see the value in having streamline bus. It’s so important to getting employees to our store to work… It benefits all of us as a community. Everyone says “well where’s the help?”, well this is one more step to getting them there.”

Public Presentations

In August, we started giving public presentations to start educating the community on what an Urban Transportation District is and how it would continue to help Streamline benefit us all. Below is one of those presentations, where we go through our programs beginnings, how the service is ran, and upcoming changes to the service.

HRDC’s UTD Public Meeting Recording – Held on Zoom on September 20th, 2022

Streamline Benefits Us All

Our Streamline service:

  • Reduces traffic and frees up parking by giving Valley residents an alternative to driving.
  • Helps seniors, veterans and those with disabilities get where they need to go: medical appointments, shopping trips and visits with friends.
  • Provides workforce transportation to those employed in various parts of our community.
  • Helps MSU students get to area business and recreational opportunities without needing a car. Streamline also helps people in the Gallatin Valley get to MSU events such as concerts and Bobcat games.
  • Provides zero-fare transportation which is quick and efficient for all riders while helping those who can’t drive, or can’t afford to own and operate a vehicle
  • Ties the Gallatin Valley together by providing service throughout the area, including new service to Belgrade.
  • Keeps our air clean by reducing the emissions from motor vehicles.