Green commuting alternatives promoted locally

By NICOLE SMITH/Montana State News

Why drive? In Bozeman, the options are plentiful when it comes to getting around. The alternatives include riding the Streamline bus, riding a bike, or using unconventional fuels.

The Streamline Bus, provided by MSU, is free to the public and has four routes with stops in Bozeman, Belgrade, Four Corners and even Livingston.

According to the American Public Transportation Association’s transit calculator, taking the Streamline instead of driving just 10 miles to work or school every day could save over $400 each year.

Biking in Bozeman is also easy, good for your health and can save you money in more ways than one way. Besides skipping the cost of filling up a tank of gas, biking can result in discounts at many Bozeman businesses.

Bozeman is a part of Bicycle Benefits, a program that provides discounts to people who commute by bicycle.

Purchasing a $5 sticker and placing it on your bike helmet will entitle you to discounts at businesses like Bagelworks, Pita Pit, Nova Cafe, Schnee’s, Cactus Records and more, in Bozeman and around the country.

For maps of safe routes to bike and walk in Bozeman, visit bozeman.k12.mt.us/schools/safe_routes.

Bozeman Climate Partners also offers a list of safe alternative fuel sources, like biodiesel and veggie oils, and how to use them in Bozeman. Story Distributing at Pacific Pride in Belgrade and Bozeman Biofuels are local options for alternative fuel sources.

As part of the 4th Bozeman Area Commuter Challenge taking place this May, Bozeman residents will be encouraged to bike, walk or ride the bus instead of driving.

Prizes and raffles will be offered and the total miles racked up by the community will be logged and added to a statewide database. Last year, nearly 300 participants logged over 14,500 miles.

– Edited by Abe Feigenbaum

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