Thursday, Oct. 13, 2011, Mountain Line marks its 10th Anniversary as Flagstaff's public transit system. To celebrate the anniversary and thank passengers for their loyalty, 10 bus trips on Thursday will be designated Surprise Birthday Buses. Passengers boarding these randomly selected buses will be greeted with banners and a free ride.
Mountain Line was created in 2001 following a 2000 ballot measure approving a 0.00175 sales tax for transit funding. On Oct. 13, 2001, Pine Country Transit became Mountain Line, operating Routes 2, 3, 4 and 66. In the beginning, there were six buses, and daily ridership was 419 passengers. Today, Mountain Line carries 7,147 passengers per day, on seven routes, including Mountain Link (Route 10) which connects NAU to Woodlands Village and downtown Flagstaff. Today's Mountain Line buses are a far cry from those of the early days as well. The 2011 Mountain Line fleet features many state of the art hybrid electric vehicles that get twice as many miles per gallon as conventional buses and greatly reduce emissions.
Many significant landmarks have occurred over the past 10 years:
2001—Mountain Line begins service on October 13
2002—Named Outstanding Transit Organization by the Arizona Transit Association
Named Transit System of the Year by the Community Transportation Association
2003—Named Transit System of the Year by the Transportation Association of America
Route 5 is added to schedule, and an additional bus begins serving Route 4
2004—Saturday service is added on Route 5
ONE MILLIONTH PASSENGER RIDES MOUNTAIN LINE ON NOVEMBER 12
2005—Routes 66, 2 and 3 increase frequency of service
2006—By October, Mountain Line ridership reaches 2,151 passengers per day
2008—Mountain Line's first hybrid electric bus goes into service (first in Arizona!) Flagstaff voters approve five ballot measures to continue and expand funding for transit service
Route 7 begins service
2009—Trip planning becomes easier with Google Transit available online
2010—Mountain Line moves to new facility on Kaspar Avenue. The new headquarters incorporates sustainable features such as energy-efficient lighting and windows, water-saving fixtures, and the use of reclaimed water for landscaping.
Named Urban Transportation System of the Year by the Community Transportation Association
Named Outstanding Transportation Organization by the Arizona Transit Association
2011—Mountain Link (Route 10) connects Downtown, NAU and Woodlands Village with buses every 10 to 15 minutes. Service begins September 29, and in the first week alone, carries more than twice the expected number of riders. MOUNTAIN LINE CELBRATES 10 YEARS OF "GETTING YOU WHERE YOU WANT TO GO" OCT. 13
NAIPTA General Manager Jeff Meilbeck says, "Over the past 10 years, Mountain Line
has grown not only bigger but better – providing service that is more convenient, more
comfortable and more environmentally friendly. We feel we've become an integral part
of what makes Flagstaff great, and we will continue to provide the best service possible
in the future."