Access to efficient and affordable transportation is key to business success.
Transportation is a defining factor in the ease and efficiency of business, both for goods and services and the people who make up your company. Missoula’s accessibility continues to grow as our aiport undergoes a significant terminal expansion. Missoula is also a very commuter friendly community, with the average local commute coming in at just over fifteen minutes.
Missoula International Airport serves Missoula County and the greater region, offering non-stop service to 16 markets on six commercial airlines, as well as general aviation services through two full-service fixed base operators. A multi-phase terminal expansion broke ground in 2018, and the first phase is expected to be completed by the end of 2021. Five gates with expanded seating areas, a new security area, and more robust food and beverage options past security are included in the first phase of the terminal expansion, which is designed to allow travelers to absorb the natural beauty of the landscape around them.
Montana Rail Link operates a network of local and cross-country rails that connect Missoula to the rest of North America, getting cargo where it needs to go. Based in Missoula, Montana Rail Link is an FRA Class II regional railroad that has partnered with businesses for more than 25 years to ship their freight across Montana, the nation and the globe. The MRL system covers more than 900 miles of track, and serves more than 100 stations in Montana, Idaho and Washington. The local railroad connects with the Burlington Northern & Santa Fe Railroad at Laurel and Garrison, Montana, as well as Spokane, Washington; it connects with the Union Pacific Railroad at Sandpoint, Idaho.
Interstate 90 traverses the northern end of the Missoula valley on its way across the country and is easily accessible to Missoula’s industries and businesses, and to the airport. North-south Interstate 15 connects to I-90 about 90 minutes east of the valley, which offers access to a variety of freight routes in and out of the area.
Commute times are an important factor in the quality of life of a community. Our city’s mean travel time to work of 15.8 minutes is fifth-best among U.S. metro areas, and is more than a third quicker than the national average of 25.1 minutes. More than 50 percent of the working population commutes less than 15 minutes to work, compared to 25 percent for the U.S. Missoula is bicycle-friendly, with an extensive network of bike trails and designated lanes.
Our city ranks fifth in the nation for the percentage of workers who commute by bicycle. Mountain Line, the city-operated transport agency, provides zero-fare transit that allows anyone to ride fixed-route, Paratransit, and Senior Van free of charge. All vehicles in Mountain Line’s fleet are ADA compliant and accessible to all users. Mountain Line buses are equipped with free Wi-Fi.