Jump on the bus

By Buck Traxler, I-O Editor

“Leave the driving to us,” is the word from Deb Brandon of the Golden Triangle Transit, the featured speaker at the Conrad Area Chamber of Commerce meeting on Wednesday.

Before Brandon spoke there were a few reports given.

From the library, Stephanie Moerkerke noted that 52 kids have signed up for summer programs at the library.

Cheryl Curry from the Regional Port Authority said the “Big thing for the Port Authority is that the levy passed.”

Harold Olson reported that 80 pies and other rhubarb condiments had been sold at the Rhubarb Festival. He noted that there is usually about 20 entries to the festival, but do to a mix up in publicity, this year there were only four.

Kristi Grubb-Calvery was introduced as the new curator at the Conrad Transportation and Historical Museum.

She said the museum will be getting a new grant for transportation and that the current exhibit was focused around the history of wedding dresses.

When Brandon took to the floor, she said people will recall that Grey Hound bus service pulled out of the area in 2005, leaving a huge void to fill.

The Golden Triangle came into being and through grants, a study showed the use of bus transit was needed.

Today the Golden Triangle Transit coordinates the services of three independent transit systems: the Northern Transit Interlocal which is a partnership of Conrad, Cut Bank and Shelby and the respective counties of Pondera, Glacier and Toole.

Then there is Glacier County Transit and Toole County Transit.

The entities provide a no-cost bus service that goes north to Sweet Grass, west to Kalispell and south to Great Falls.

It accommodates people and seniors who can’t drive or don’t want to drive but need to go see a doctor and the Social Security offices. “We are there for you,” said Brandon.

“What the bus service doesn’t do,” she stressed, "is Walmart.”  “We are not a service for shopping, we don’t want to take business away from our towns.”

The Conrad run is on the ‘Red Route’ which had a bus making stops here on Monday and Thursday on the way to Great Falls.

It stops at 9:10 a.m. at the Town Pump, 207 N. Main Street at the dining area entrance. At 9:20 a.m. it makes a pick up stop in the Pondera Shopping Center at 600 S. Main, right near village Drug.

A second bus comes through and makes an afternoon stop at the Town Pump and Village Drug at 1:10 p.m. and 1:20 p.m. respectively.

Reservations are required for the Shelby to Kalispell run and you have to call them in no later than 4 p.m. the day before you plan to travel.

You do not need to have a doctor’s appointment or medical reason to ride the bus. You are welcome to ride and view the scenery along the way.

And now, a new stop on the run to Kalispell is Whitefish.

For more information or inquiries, call (406) 873-2207 or (406) 470-0727. If you have a computer, you can check the bus service out at toolecountymt.gov .

Mark your calendar, the next meeting of the CofC will be at the Pondera Medical Center downstairs in the conference room at noon on July 18.