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Flathead Co. transportation system set to implement changes

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Flathead County’s transportation system is kicking off new changes to help make the system more user friendly.

Eagle Transit is implementing new changes July 1. The changes include a redesigned city route, a new tri-city commuter system and more access to Glacier National Park.

Eagle Transit transportation manager Dale Novak said changes are a long time coming.

"It's been something that's needed to be changed for a number of years," said Novak.

Novak told NBC Montana the current Kalispell city route takes over an hour. The redesigned system cuts that in half with two 30-minute loops.

Evergreen will have its own commuter bus that will serve more places in the community. They will also have a Dial-A-Ride bus dedicated just to the Evergreen area. Dial-A-Ride buses are for residents who are disabled or cannot otherwise make it to a bus stop.

Currently a commuter bus runs from Kalispell to Whitefish and Kalispell to Columbia Falls, but those routes will also change.

"We were able to combine that into a commuter route called the tri-city commuter route, and that also provided a connection now from Whitefish to Columbia Falls that we didn't have before," Novak said.

Shuttles to Glacier National Park will now run three times a day instead of just two times. This summer they will also drop off at Avalanche in the park and not just Apgar.

All of the changes won't require extra funding, keeping pricing the same.

"We know what's needed and where we can get the resources and what we can do, so we feel it’s going to be a really good fix for the city of Kalispell, Evergreen and actually the whole county," Novak told NBC Montana.

Eagle Transit is holding an informational meeting for the public Wednesday, June 20, at 4 p.m. in the Gateway Community Center.

For more information on Eagle Transit click here.

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