MTPR

transportation

Lots of snow and some colder weather are headed for western Montana this week.
National Weather Service Missoula

Montana’s stable – some could argue, boring – late fall weather is going to take a drastic turn this week.

“It sure has been boring and it’s about to get very un-boring, very quickly," according to National Weather Service Meteorologist LeeAnn Allegretto.

A new tax on airplane fuel is nearing a final vote in the Montana Legislature.
(PD)

United Airlines will offer direct flights next year from Missoula and Kalispell to Los Angeles. The new seasonal daily service begins in early June.

Missoula International Airport Deputy Director Brian Ellestad says it will be a real boon for Montana.

School bus in Colstrip, MT.
Amy Martin

The transportation block grants Montana pays to school districts are one of the sources Governor Steve Bullock is looking at to help fill Montana’s budget shortfall. Eliminating those grants in 2019 would save the state nearly $12 million.

But not all school districts have a reserve fund to fall back on. Some that do can’t sustain the loss over an extended period of time.

Revenue generated from the increased gas tax Montana lawmakers passed last year collected more than $6 million in its first four months.
Rusty Clark (CC-BY-NC-2)

Gas and diesel prices ticked up over the weekend as a new state tax went into effect. The new tax will increase every July 1 for the next six years, to fund maintenance on bridges and roads across the state.

A second ride-sharing company is hoping to set up shop in Montana. Officials with Lyft Inc. will testify before state regulators Monday, trying to prove they’re ready to join Uber in a Montana’s mobile app ride-hailing industry.
SDOT photos (CC-BY-NC-2)

A second ride-sharing company is hoping to set up shop in Montana. Officials with Lyft Inc. will testify before state regulators Monday, trying to prove they’re ready to join Uber in a Montana’s mobile app ride-hailing industry.

Senate Kills Cyclist Bill: 'They Think They Own The Highway'

Mar 13, 2017
A legislative proposal to slap a $25 tax on out-of-state bicyclists visiting Montana turns out to be a big joke, but it's going over like a lead ballon.
PD

The Montana Senate blocked a bill today that would have required vehicles going 35 miles per hour to give cyclists three feet when passing and five feet when going faster. House Bill 267 failed on a 24-26 vote. A motion by Majority Leader Fred Thomas, R-Stevensville to kill the bill indefinitely passed on a 29-21 vote.

A legislative proposal to slap a $25 tax on out-of-state bicyclists visiting Montana turns out to be a big joke, but it's going over like a lead ballon.
PD

A proposal to connect existing bike paths in western Montana received widespread support at a meeting on the Flathead Reservation today. The big hurdle now is securing funding.

The proposed 34-mile multi-use path would follow U.S. 93 from its intersection with Interstate 90 to St. Ignatius.

Starting Tuesday, January 3, construction crews will be temporarily squeezing one of Missoula's busiest bridges from four lanes down to two. Construction on the Madison Street Bridge is expected to finish in August 2017.
Edward O'Brien

Starting Tuesday, January 3, construction crews will be temporarily squeezing one of Missoula's busiest bridges from four lanes down to two. Pretty much everybody involved says the Madison Street Bridge project is going to be an enormous pain in the backside.

Harlowton Asks State Lawmakers To Increase Fuel Tax

Dec 19, 2016
Revenue generated from the increased gas tax Montana lawmakers passed last year collected more than $6 million in its first four months.
Rusty Clark (CC-BY-NC-2)

The mayor and city council of Harlowton are asking state lawmakers to increase Montana’s fuel tax.

Earlier this month, Montana’s Department of Transportation said they’ll have to delay almost $150 million worth of road projects across the state due to a budget shortfall.

Remediation specialists are trying to contain a 7,000 gallon diesel spill in the Missoula rail yard.

Montana Rail Link detected the spill on Monday and issued a public announcement Thursday.

By Friday afternoon, cleanup crews had excavated 1,100 yards of contaminated soil. There is continued concern over whether the spill might affect Missoula’s aquifer. 

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