FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
April 24, 2023
With door-to-door, on-demand paratransit service, seniors and residents with disabilities continue to have access to public transportation in Bozeman, Belgrade and beyond.
Since 1973, Galavan has been helping individuals aged 60 and older and people with disabilities remain independent by providing rides to medical visits, the grocery store, places of employment, social events, and other appointments. The helpful door-to-door service has been an integral part of our community for five decades and provides an alternate transportation option for senior riders and riders with certain mobility challenges who are unable to utilize Streamline’s fixed route bus service.
“We are very proud of our paratransit service’s longevity in serving our community’s residents. Our drivers and our dispatch operators know our Galavan riders well and always keep an eye out for their safety and wellbeing. We are grateful to be able to provide our customers with a mode of reliable, safe transportation and to know that we are helping them continue to live independently,” said Sunshine Ross, HRDC’s Transportation Director.
Galavan began as a volunteer program in 1973, with HRDC inheriting oversight of its operations in the mid-1980s. Since then, the program has grown immensely and has served thousands of riders. Today, Galavan operates on a reservation system. Riders call at least one day in advance of their needed ride to schedule service. Approximately 100 rides occur every day of the week.
Multiple organizations help fund this critical service including the Montana Department of Transportation, the City of Bozeman, the City of Belgrade, Gallatin County, and the Area IV Agency on Aging.
From an organizational standpoint, Galavan is Streamline’s paratransit service. Because complementary paratransit services are required in any area with a fixed-route transportation service, Galavan would also be affected if the proposal to create a Gallatin Valley Urban Transportation District (UTD) passes during the upcoming special district election on May 2nd. Among other things, creating the UTD will allow HRDC’s Streamline to continue receiving the federal funding that makes up a large part of its overall budget. Some of these federal funds also cover a critical portion of Galavan’s operating costs.
Ross weighed in on the community’s interest in Galavan’s future given the impending decision facing voters on whether or not to approve the formation of a UTD, “Over the past couple of years I have received frequent inquiries about what’s in store for our paratransit service. I am always quick to reassure others that while the UTD would eventually become the future home of Streamline, paratransit services will always be required to run alongside the Streamline service. Any future expansion to Streamline in terms of service area and service hours would also require an expansion of paratransit services, which would greatly benefit our community.”
Jaime is one such rider who hopes the UTD measure will be approved by voters in a couple of weeks. He utilizes Galavan’s services several times a week to get to and from Montana State University where he studies Fish and Wildlife Management. Every Tuesday and Friday, Galavan picks him up from his home in Belgrade, drives him along the frontage road, and down to the MSU Student Union Building. “Galavan is the safest option, especially in the winter, and it always gets me where I need to go!”
For more information about Galavan, visit https://thehrdc.org/senior-services/senior-transportation/ or https://streamlinebus.com/paratransit/.
For more information about the proposed Gallatin Valley Urban Transportation District measure (UTD), visit https:StreamlineBus.com/utd
As a private, not-for-profit Community Action Organization focused on building a better community through its nearly 50 initiatives, HRDC combats poverty in southwestern Montana and believes everyone deserves the opportunity to be financially stable. Donors, volunteers, and community members can find out what we have in common at https://thehrdc.org/