Through the process of touring the community, listening to residents, researching the background information, analyzing available data, and carrying out a community survey, it is clear that transportation is an important need in Carbon County. The Transit Development Plan process has revealed that:
- Current transportation options are limited and not always affordable, accessible, or available.
- Carbon County is a very rural area, especially outside of Red Lodge, with dispersed population over a large geographic area.
- Tourism and recreation are important parts of the local economy with summer visitation growing steadily while winter visitation is flat or declining slightly.
- Transit needs exist throughout the county but demand estimation models show that some of the greatest need and potential for ridership include Red Lodge and adjacent areas, Bridger and adjacent areas, and Joliet.
- Although the majority of residents are finding ways of getting around today, the large majority of survey respondents and interviewees indicated that they, or their clients, would regularly utilize a potential new public transportation system.
- Red Lodge is the most popular potential destination for trips within Carbon County, while Billings is the overwhelming favorite potential destination outside of Carbon County.