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I will be voting in favor of the upcoming Mountain Line mill levy on Election Day. I encourage you to join me in supporting this community asset. This is the first time since 1976 that Mountain Line has asked for mill levy support from Missoulians, and the organization has earned my support under the excellent leadership of general manager Michael Tree.

Funds from the mill levy will help the bus system keep up with exploding demand. Mountain Line has set annual ridership records over the past two fiscal years, providing more than 900,000 rides in 2012. Mountain Line’s specialized transportation services for seniors and people with disabilities has seen an 18 percent increase in passengers. Funds will pay for community-identified priorities such as adding higher-frequency bus service and late evening service, which will help reduce drunk driving.

Offering a top-notch transit system is a key part of keeping Missoula a walkable, bike-able place to live. Increasingly, young people are opting to live without a car or, if they have one, avoid driving much less than our parents and grandparents did. Being able to walk, bike or bus is a key factor in determining where millennials want to live. Missoula must plan for this demographic shift to stay competitive in the new economy.

Caitlin Copple,

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City Council member, Ward 4,

Missoula

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