HRDC’s Galavan Celebrates 50 Years of Service

HRDC logo. Text reads, HRDC, Building A Better Community.



April 24, 2023


Penny Johnson, Communications Manager,, 303-828-8481

Sunshine Ross, Transportation Director,, 406-587-2434

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.

Photo of a Galavan vehicle. “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.

Photo of the Galavan driver shaking hands with a rider who uses a wheelchair. 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 or

For more information about the proposed Gallatin Valley Urban Transportation District measure (UTD), visit

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


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Brooke Poole

Public Sector

Since 2015, Brooke has been working with Allergan Aesthetics, Body Contouring. In 2018, Brooke began her role as Senior Manager of Training. Brooke graduated with a Bachelor’s of Science in Commercial Photography from Appalachian State University in 2011.

Brooke began her role on our Board in 2019. However, she feels it’s more fitting to say that she gets to serve on our Board. For Brooke, an evening at our Fork & Spoon was her first glance into our organization’s powerful work. As Brooke states, joining the Board has only expanded her appreciation for the caliber of people leading our mission and the impact of our vast ecosystem of services. While metrics alone are impressive, Brooke likes to visualize each number as an individual example of support – an extension of a helping hand, a moment of relief – given to one of our neighbors. She is grateful for the opportunity to participate in shaping HRDC’s future.

Although Brooke spends most of her volunteer time with HRDC, she was fortunate enough to build with Habitat for Humanity over the course of the summer in 2020. Her favorite place to spend time is anywhere under the Big Sky, although Hyalite may be her favorite place on Earth.

Ron Brey

Public Sector

Ron served as Bozeman’s Assistant City Manager from 1990 to 2008. After retiring, Ron joined our Board in 2011. Ron received his Bachelor of Arts in History from the University of Montana in 1977, and his Masters in Science in Rural, Town, and Regional Planning from the University of Montana in 1987.

During his time with the City of Bozeman, Ron saw the important role that HRDC has played in our community. Ron has seen that HRDC provides necessary social services to assure that all Bozeman residents could obtain housing, food, training, employment and the other necessities of life. He also came to understand that HRDC was always able to respond immediately as new community needs arose. Ron believes that the dedication, hard work, and compassion of HRDC’s staff make it a real honor to serve on the Board.

Ron also serves on the Trails, Open Space and Parks Committee for the City of Bozeman, and as a volunteer with the Red Cross. One of Ron’s favorite activities is walking his beloved dog every day, enjoying many of Bozeman’s trails and parks, like Burke Park, Bozeman Creek, and the Hyalite and Mount Ellis areas. Ron and his wife Claire enjoy spending their days with family, friends, and time outdoors.