Press Release — “YES for Streamline” Campaign Kicks Off in Gallatin County

Citizens Will Vote on Urban Transportation District May 2

For Immediate Release
March 1, 2023
Penny Johnson, 303-828-8481

BOZEMAN — Community supporters on March 1 kicked off a campaign to form an Urban Transportation District (UTD) in Gallatin County.

The “YES for Streamline” campaign committee will work to get out the vote in support of the UTD, which is needed so Streamline can continue to receive federal transit funding.

“I’m proud to be part of this community effort,” YES for Streamline Campaign Treasurer Mitch Bradley said. “As a retired businessman, I know that public transit helps employees get to work and brings customers to our stores. People who can’t drive, or who don’t have access to a car depend on Streamline and Galavan to get to medical appointments, go shopping and connect with friends. Public transportation also helps free up parking and eases traffic congestion by helping to keep extra cars off the road.”

The UTD is needed to retain federal transportation funds due the tremendous population growth that’s occurred in the Gallatin Valley.

While the Gallatin Valley was formerly viewed as a “rural” area in the eyes of the Federal Transit Administration (FTA), it is now considered a “small, urbanized area. This means FTA funds can no longer go directly to HRDC Streamline but must go administered by a local government or by a UTD.

HRDC CEO Heather Grenier said that a 2021 community report, a subsequent community survey, and stakeholder interviews all showed that community members support the creation of UTD as the best way to manage and fund Streamline.

“People like that a UTD is mission-specific,” Grenier said. “They view it as efficient in that it will be focused solely on operating the community’s bus and paratransit services. It also will help foster cooperation between our local governments – Bozeman, Belgrade and Gallatin County – rather than limiting oversight of public transit to just one of those entities.”

If approved by voters on May 2, the UTD would be managed by a board including appointed representatives from Gallatin County, City of Bozeman, City of Belgrade and other key stakeholders.

The proposed UTD will include all of Bozeman and Belgrade and areas between. Voters living within the proposed district must vote YES in order to create the UTD. Organizers submitted over 16,166 valid signatures to surpass the required goal of 12,935 by 3,231 or 25% more than needed. The next step is approving the UTD in the May 2 election.

Bradley said YES of Streamline will be working hard over the next few months to build on the support shown by the petition drive and encourage people to vote YES and turn in their ballots. May 2 is the traditional school district elections day and this vote will be a Special Election as part of this vote-by-mail election.

Photo of Galavan user, Jamie and driver shaking hands as Jamie loads onto the Galavan.
Jaime Henriquez, a frequent Galavan paratransit service rider.

Jaime Henriquez, a frequent Galavan rider and MSU student, also voiced support for YES for Streamline. Unable to drive himself to school, Jaime utilizes Galavan’s paratransit service several times a week to go to and from campus. On a recent bus ride, Jaime shared, “Galavan is the safest option, especially in the winter, and it always gets me where I need to go!”

Bradley said that approving the UTD is critical to preserving much-needed public transportation services in the Gallatin Valley.

The Streamline bus service operates from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Friday, and from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekends and includes four Bozeman routes along with weekday commuter service to Belgrade.

Galavan, HRDC’s paratransit service, offers transport to veterans, seniors, and people with disabilities or injuries, on a flexible basis in Bozeman, Belgrade, Manhattan and Three Forks.

Voting YES for the UTD will allow these services to continue at their current level and is not an increase in taxes for Gallatin Valley residents, Bradley said.

Graphic of a bus with a checkmark. Text reads, Yes For Streamline. Vote Yes on May 2nd for HRDC's Streamline Bus.
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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.