Alan Sorensen Havre Daily News firstname.lastname@example.org
About 10 years have passed since area residents could board a bus to Great Falls, Billings or along the Hi- Line. If Linking Northern Montana Together, a project of Opportunity Link Inc., is successful, area residents may again have such an option. But first, Opportunity Link will hold a public information meeting from 1 to 3 p.m. today in Havre and from 2 to 4 p.m. Thursday in Great Falls. Michael Felschow of LSC Transportation Consultants Inc. will discuss a plan drafted from among four alternatives discussed in June to provide transportation to residents of eight northcentral Montana counties. The plan also includes information provided by “stakeholders” about what they think is relevant to the area. “We’re really excited to see this plan when he presents it,” said Leah Noel, community development coordinator for Opportunity Link, “and then to move forward to gather a group of stakeholders in the eightcounty region that will move toward the implementation of this transit service next year. “Hopefully, we’ll be able to connect with other transportation in the state and get the whole state connected,” she added. According to an informational release issued to area media and interested public figures, the presentation will detail “schedules, routes, oversight and a financial plan and other components necessary for implementation.” Noel said it also will include a variety of vehicle sizes and capabilities. “This plan was developed based on input from community members collected in June,” she said. “Now what we’ll need to do is build a coordination council to organize this and get commitments from the counties that will be involved in this.” Noel said input has been collected from area hospitals, senior centers and others to meet a variety of needs. Today’s Havre meeting will be held at District 4 Human Resources Development Council, 2229 Fifth Ave. Thursday’s Great Falls meeting will be held in the Lewis and Clark Room at Benefis Healthcare West, 500 Fifth Ave. S.