A very popular, useful, and free resource in Missoula won't be available for the summer of 2024.

The University of Montana river shuttle offered free rides to the river for people who wanted to float as well as drop off downtown for Out to Lunch at Caras Park. In a release from the University of Montana, staffing shortages were cited as the reason for canceling the service.

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“We simply do not have enough student bus operators available this summer to offer continuous weeks of multiday service to meet the community needs,” said Vickie Rectenwald, director of ASUM Transportation. Rectenwald also said in the release that they will consider bringing back the shuttle when resources are available. She also thanked community partners for supporting the shuttle.

Other Options for Getting Around Missoula This Summer

While there may not be options as convenient as the UM shuttle, there are a few other options for parking and transportation this summer to the river and Out to Lunch in downtown Missoula.

Clark Fork Yacht Club

While it's not free, the Clark Fork Yacht Club does offer a shuttle to the Sha-Ron Fishing access and a tube for floating, too (theirs are the bright pink ones). It costs $30 for adults and $20 for kids. The benefit is that you don't have to worry about dropping a car and returning to pick it up, and they can check your valuables, too.

Mountain Line

Missoula's bus system has multiple routes that can get you downtown and a route to East Missoula, and it's free. It's a good option for attending Out to Lunch but it doesn't quite get you to Sha-Ron, but it will get you close.

Ride a Bike

Missoula is an excellent city for riding a bike, with lots of trails and bike lanes. You can also bring a bike on the bus if you're a bit further out of town. This is a good option for attending Out to Lunch because there's limited parking downtown, but you'll want to try the next option for floating the river.


You'll need to drop a car anyway, and floating is more fun with friends so consider gathering a group and using fewer vehicles.

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