This morning Salt Lake Express started service between Missoula, Helena, Butte, Bozeman, and Billings

This morning around 8:45 am a bus left Billings to head west towards Bozeman. At 11:15 am another bus headed east from Missoula. They will meet around 1:00 pm in Helena and continue on to complete the first Salt Lake Express (SLE) east-west Montana run. Their second run will begin around 1:45 pm in Billings and 4:00 pm in Missoula and meet in Butte around 6:00 pm. Along with Jefferson Lines’ Missoula to Billings service, this corridor is back to the level of service it had before.

Yesterday Salt Lake Express announced it will pick up Rimrock’s scheduled runs between Great Falls and Butte starting April 15. Their General Manager, Jacob Price, told me, “We are thrilled to be able to help out in the interim covering several of the routes previously serviced by Rimrock.”

Still no information on Missoula to Whitefish and I-94 from Billings to Bismarck.

New services are fairly close to the Rimrock timetables (yes I know bus timetables are nearly impossible to understand). I think SLE is running the same schedule as shown in the Missoula-Billings and Great Falls-Helena-Butte table. Jefferson is running at the same general time but has had to shift schedules a little.  Anyone wanting to book a ride should visit their local ticket agent. They have the most accurate, up-to-date information.


11 thoughts on “This morning Salt Lake Express started service between Missoula, Helena, Butte, Bozeman, and Billings

  1. Simeon

    Are there any alternatives to get through I-94 for example from Fargo to Dickinson ? Thank you for the all the information so far.

  2. Lisa Post author

    You can get from Fargo to Billings, but I am unaware of any service between Bismarck and Glendive right now. It looks like Jefferson’s web page is updated with their North Dakota and Montana service.

    Here is a map I was able to create from their trip planner. Hope it works.
    Here is the appropriate timetable. Look at schedule number 933 and 934.

  3. Mark

    Do you know if there’s bus service south of Butte on I-15 these days, or was that discontinued earlier? There doesn’t seem to be a schedule for it anywhere …

    1. Lisa Post author

      Yes, Salt Lake Express runs between Butte and Salt Lake City twice a day. I can’t find their schedule online either. I believe they depart at 7:00 am and 7:00 pm.

  4. Lisa Post author

    In this part of the country I don’t think you can provide effective intercity service that connects nationwide without interlining, and it would be difficult to get the passenger load. There may be some business models that move people between cities “locally” on I-94, but it would be a challenge.

    There are some ongoing discussions about how to fill it in, and I’m cautiously optimistic.

  5. Kathy

    Lisa I’m a little confused. My son purchased a ticket from Sacramento, Ca to Bismarck, ND, how far will he get into Montana before there are no buses available to get him to Bismarck, ND? So we can then figure out where to pick him up.

  6. Lisa Post author

    He will get there fine, he’ll just be routed the long way via the High Line. It’s the points between Glendive and Bismarck that aren’t served (in other words Dickinson has no service). Once he gets to Billings he’ll be taking Jefferson on the route shown in the following map.

      1. Lisa Post author

        Check with your ticket agent. Times may have changed depending on when you purchased the ticket, and if his travel is a few weeks in the future they may change again. If your ticket shows Jefferson Lines (JLI) between Billings and Bismark that’s a good indication.

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