New Wednesday trolley will connect Splash Montana with Out to Lunch

Beginning Wednesday, Mountain Line’s trolley will stop at Splash Montana en route to Out to Lunch at Caras Park. (City of Missoula)

As Out to Lunch returns to downtown Missoula this Wednesday, Mountain Line will debut a new crosstown zero-fare transit connection.

Each Wednesday this summer, the bus system will provide a trolley route between the city’s Splash Montana water park and the Missoula Downtown Association’s Out to Lunch concert series in Caras Park.

The first day of service is scheduled for this Wednesday, June 6, with service every Wednesday from 10:45 a.m. to 1:45 p.m. through August.

“Families love our free trolley service to the Saturday markets and the Out to Lunch series,” said Bill Pfeiffer, Mountain Line community outreach coordinator. “Connecting these two great sunny day activities will give parents, grandparents and kids more travel options and more fun every Wednesday.”

The new Wednesday route will replace service from the Dornblaser Park and Ride for Wednesday service only.

Mountain Line’s Saturday Market trolley will continue to run from Dornblaser and the Lewis and Clark Transfer Center on Saturday mornings through September.

The new trolley route begins at Splash Montana and heads north on Bancroft and Brooks, before turning onto Higgins and ending at Caras Park. To catch a ride, riders can hail the trolley at existing bus stops or flag the operator anywhere along the route.

MDA’s Out to Lunch offers mobile food service with a wide variety of local cuisine options and Montana and regional bands. Splash Montana has become Missoula’s favorite place for hot weather fun, with three water slides, a lazy river float-way, and swimming options for all ages and abilities.

“We’re excited that Mountain Line is looking to connect our great family recreation destinations in Missoula,” said Donna Gaukler, director of Missoula Parks and Recreation. “Not only will this new Wednesday route connect swimming to Out to Lunch food and music, but parents and kids can also play at Dragon’s Hollow playground and a Carousel for Missoula in Caras Park.”

Mountain Line will kick off the Out to Lunch trolley season with an appearance by Bolt the mascot and a free raffle for a $20 Missoula Downtown Association gift card available to anyone who rides the trolley on the first day of service.

They’ll also host a Sustainable Commuting 1-on-1 at Out to Lunch for commuters interested in route assistance and practice with Mountain Line bus bike racks. First-time riders can stop at the Mountain Line table at Caras Park to enter the raffle.

“We hope people will take advantage of this great new service,” Pfeiffer added. “Now there are even more ways to enjoy family fun in Missoula this summer.”

For more information on Splash Montana, visit http://www.missoulaparks.org/169/Splash-Montana.

A complete schedule of the Out to Lunch program is available at via the Missoula Downtown Association at https://www.missouladowntown.com/out-to-lunch/.

To view the new Mountain Line Out to Lunch Trolley map, visit http://www.mountainline.com/maps-schedules/special-routes/out-to-lunch-service/.