Helena Area Inclusive Transit Planning Phase 1

Helena Area Inclusive Transit Planning Phase 1 Report

Lewis and Clark County was one of seventeen communities across the nation awarded an Administration for Community Living Transit Planning for All grant. The project focused on empowering people with mobility limitations, including seniors and people with physical and/or cognitive disabilities, to be actively involved in planning and implementing coordinated transportation systems in the Helena area. The County partnered with the Helena Area Transit Service (HATS) and the Helena Transportation Advisory Council (HTAC) to complete this effort.

The project built on the findings, recommendations and relationships developed through the recently completed five-year Helena Area Transportation Development Plan (TDP) Update. Both projects found strong community support for improving the current transit service. This support includes responding to the identified needs of people with mobility limitations.

The HATS TDP focused primarily on community needs and services within the City of Helena. The HITP project:

  • assessed needs of stakeholders in the North Valley and other county areas that are not currently served by HATS.
  • engaged stakeholder organizations to create a strong voice for the transportation needs of people with mobility limitations.
  • built consensus on actions and next steps to better serve the needs of the older population and those with disabilities, in an economically sustainable and effective manner.

During the HITP project, stakeholder organizations and consumers strongly articulated a growing demand for transportation services in the city and beyond, along with a strong desire for the community to improve and expand transportation options accordingly. The current situation poses significant hardships to people with mobility limitations. They feel trapped in their houses, they face great inconvenience, and they often face significant time and cost to access essential services, jobs, and other destinations.

This video captures the voices of transit users expressing their insights into the advantages, current needs, and vision for a more inclusive and flourishing transit system for the Helena area and Lewis & Clark County. Matthew Cramer, Americorp VISTA volunteer at Helena's SAVE Foundation, captured the stories in correlation with a Transit Planning 4 All grant for Lewis & Clark County.

Project materials

The following materials were shared at the November 2013 community roundtable and final presentations:

Media coverage


During our Helena Transit Planning 4 All grant we identified a number of resources as follows.