November of 1979 the Helena Area Transit Service (later referred to as HATS) was incorporated by the City of Helena, and deemed a public transportation bus system. Prior to this HATS was part of the private sector and was managed by Bill Emge. While under private management there were only two buses and neither were wheelchair lift equipped, and had no two-way radios. Calls were dispatched by telephone or the driver had to stop into the office to get the assignment.
HATS operation is Monday through Friday excluding weekends and holidays. We offer a Checkpoint bus, an East Valley bus, Curb-to-Curb buses. Please refer to bus scheduling for times and locations of the buses.
The Curb-to-Curb Bus runs every hour and half hour starting as early as 6:30 a.m. and ending at the HATS office at 5:30 p.m. Those with special needs, or riders not by a checkpoint bus stop, are picked up at the closest curb to their location, and delivered to the closest curb location. We request next day service or the ride will be subject to availability.
The Check Point Bus is a set route bus with approximately 18 stops. No call in is required. The Check Point runs every hour starting at 7 a.m. with the last run beginning at 5 p.m. and ending at the HATS office at 6:00 p.m.
The East Valley Bus is a curb-to-curb bus that services the East Valley, Eastgate, and East Helena with stops in Helena at Wal-Mart, City County Health, Capital Hill Mall, HATS office North Gate and Shop-Ko. To access other drop off locations in Helena other than these stops we request that you call and connect with either the Checkpoint or the Curb-to-Curb buses. The East Valley Bus operates from 7:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m. with the last run leaving Helena at 5:00 p.m. We request next day service or the ride will be subject to availability.