UM River Shuttle Returns with Expanded Service
By Moosetrack Megan

Posted: July 6, 2022

MISSOULA – More floaters will be able to grab their tubes this summer and hop on the University of Montana’s free Clark Fork River Recreation Shuttle.

The UDASH shuttle has expanded services in its second year and will start Thursday, July 7, and run each Thursday through Sunday until August 28. Shuttles will run every hour on the hour, starting at noon, with the last trip departing UM at 6 p.m. Half-hour service will be provided on Saturday and Sunday from 1-4 p.m.

Each shuttle, which can accommodate up to 20 people and their floatation devices, will run from UM’s Campus Recreation Center to the Sha-Ron Fishing Access Site in East Missoula and to Milltown State Park upon request.

“I am beyond excited for this shuttle,” said Elizabeth Bowles, president of the Associated Students of the University of Montana (ASUM). “The Office of Transportation has done a great job of providing students and community members with an easy and worry-free solution to enjoying the river.”

The shuttles began last summer as a pilot project developed in partnership with Montana Fish Wildlife & Parks, Clark Fork Coalition, the Missoula Downtown Partnership, Mountain Line, Missoula County and the City of Missoula.

A year after its successful pilot run, the UM River Shuttle is back with expanded service thanks to generous contributions from Mountain Line, the UM Excellence Fund, the Vice Provost for Student Success and the UM Summer program.

“The great support and use of the pilot river shuttle last summer helped reduce parking congestion at one of our most popular Missoula access sites,” said Randy Arnold, regional supervisor at Montana Fish, Wildlife & Parks. “We’re really excited to see the building off of that success, while adjusting to what we collectively learned.”

Floaters can bring their inflated or deflated tubes on the bus, and tubes are available to rent at UM Campus Recreation’s Outdoor Program. Large groups are strongly encouraged to RSVP. Those needing to park on campus can obtain a parking permit from the shuttle drivers.

There are a host of take-out spots on the Clark Fork River near campus. For a detailed map visit https://destinationmissoula.org/files/downtown-river-map.pdf. For more information on the UDASH River Shuttle, visit udash.org/river.

“We were really impressed by the immediate popularity of this service,” said Danny Gundlach, transit supervisor for UM’s Office of Transportation, which operates the UDASH bus service. “We are very proud to offer a service that improves student safety, enhances access to recreation and reduces congestion at river access sites.”