New infrastructure is arriving in eastern Montana this week that will make it easier for people to get to specialists, oil field jobs, and treatment courts between Richland and Dawson counties – and may even reduce hitchhikers who arrive on Trailways trying to get north to the oilfields. As of Wednesday, November 30, 2011 Jefferson Lines bus service will begin serving a loop from Glendive to Sidney to Williston.
Seven days a week there will be service between Glendive and Sidney. In Glendive, buses will arrive and depart from Robins adding to the existing Trailways stop. In Sidney buses will arrive and depart from the Richland County Transportation office on West Holly. Buses will continue to Sidney to Williston, arriving there at the NW Dakota Public Transit on Main Street. On the Williston end, travelers can continue on to Minot and other destinations. On the Glendive end passengers can catch a Trailways bus east or west.
In the audio to the left of this column, Jefferson Lines director of Sales and Marketing Kevin John talks about the new transportation avenue.
Ticket prices between Glendive and Williston are $20 for each leg each way between Glendive and Sidney and Sidney and Williston. A ticket from Glendive straight through to Williston is slightly less priced at $36.00 each way. Online ticketing can be completed immediately between Glendive and Williston. Ticketing from Sidney through to Williston and points beyond need to be done either at the ticket counter or via telephone until the website is updated in the next few days. 10% of ticket sales at the counter in Sidney will go into the Richland County Transportation fund for local bus service in Richland County. To purchase tickets by phone call 800-451-5333 or online at http://www.jeffersonlines.com.
Jefferson lines is not a new company. It is a family-owned company that was founded in 1919 and is now managed by a third generation of the same family. The company is a member of the American Bus Association, United Motorcoach Association, National Tour Association, and many other local visitor associations and chambers of commerce.
In each of the Mondak towns now served by Jefferson lines there are active local transportation options in addition to rental car availability.
In Glendive weekdays passengers can connect to the door-to-door Dawson County transit system. Call 406-377-5024. Rides are available Monday through 7:30am to 5pm. Rides for the general public are $3.00 each way with adjusted rates for seniors and people with disabilities.
In Sidney, Connect to local transit at 406-433-RIDE. They are offering door-to-door rides seven days a week with hours extended to 7pm weekdays and church time hours on Sundays. Additionally, they carry passengers to Fairview, Lambert, and Savage certain days of the week. Local Sidney fares for the general public are $3.00 each way going up to $7.00 each way for outlying towns. Richland County Transportation also offers a monthly pass. A bonus for Sidney residents, those purchasing their tickets in Sidney at the transportation office will find 10% of their purchase will go back into the county transportation system.
For those arriving in Williston, NW Dakota Public Transit in Williston is available weekdays 7:00 AM to 6:00 PM Monday through Friday and 9:00 AM to 3:00 PM on Saturdays. Service is not offered on Sundays. The fee for service is $2.00 per ride. Additional towns may be available for an additional fee. Book a ride in Williston at (701) 577-6753. Mercy Hospital also has pickup service available for those attending medical appointments and local cab service is available 24/7 in Williston.
The new Jefferson line is a result of a transit survey and regional transportation plans completed last year by both Williston and Sidney.