Navigating ground transportation options at BZN
Although Bozeman Airport may be the busiest airport in Montana, it is still small in comparison to any major city airport. Ground transportation, either to a friends house, Yellowstone, or to Big Sky is limited to very few options:
Bozeman Taxi Services:
Taxis are nearly non-existent in the area and are typically extremely expensive. There is not a ‘Taxi Line’ at BZN, you must arrange in advance through the Taxi company. There are two options: Greater Valley Taxi or Yo! Taxi. Expect to pay $40+ dollars minimum and to share the taxi with others. We have seen numerous people ‘stranded’ at the airport waiting for a taxi.
Bozeman and Belgrade Hotel Shuttles:
Many of the hotels (major chains only) offer free airport shuttle. This can be useful if you have very late arrivals or early departures. We HIGHLY recommend verifying with your the hotel when there shuttle is running and that it is still free of charge. The Hilton Garden Inn, Holiday Inn, Best Western Gran Tree, La Quinta Bozeman, among others, have a free (reliable) shuttle. Very few, if any, of the less expensive Motels offer shuttle service. Money saved by staying at local motels is often lost on paying for shuttle/ taxi service.
Bozeman Private Limo Service:
Classic Limo offers ‘elite’ limo service. If you are looking for a stretch Chrysler 300m or a stretch Ford Expedition with 20″ chrome wheels, call them. Shuttle to Big Sky and Taxi offers reliable, professional, transportation services from BZN to Big Sky. Private, one-way service to Big Sky starts at $200. Shared services, if available, are more affordable.
Bozeman airport Car Rental:
Bozeman Airport Car Rental Agencies.
Car rental from Bozeman Airport is often the most cost effective and logical solution. Few visitors to Bozeman realize the distances between everything, and that public transportation is nearly non-existent. Unless if you are visiting town on business and all of your transportation will be provided, you will need a rental car. We regularly hear regrets from visitors to Big Sky and surrounding attractions about not renting a car. Even in Big Sky, if you want to venture outside of the resort you will need a rental car. Attractions, restaurants, and venues from the resort to Meadow Village are 8-miles apart- with very limited public transport.
The major US rental car companies (Hertz, Enterprise, Avis, Budget, Thrifty) have on-airport locations at BZN. During peak times, expect lines at the counter for vehicle pick-up, and in winter expect an icey parking lot. Unless if you are visiting in off-peak times (April, May, October, November) booking a reservation in advance is highly recommended. Prices of rental cars, especially SUVs and 4wd vehicles (highly recommended at all times of the year) can be extraordinary. It is not uncommon for ‘Economy’ cars to be $60+/ day and ‘Premium SUVs’ to be $350+/ day.
There are two off-airport rental car companies in Bozeman that offer reliable service to BZN, with cheaper rates
Phasmid Rentals and Ressler Toyota Rent-a-Car. Phasmid is in immediate proximity to BZN and offers Subaru Outback and Chevrolet Suburban Rentals. Toyota Rent-a-Car is located 12-miles from airport and offers all new models of Toyotas to rent. Both Phasmid and TRAC offer very convenient airport service picking guests up via private shuttle via a representative that meets guests at baggage claim. Pricing for the off-airport rental car companies is typically significantly less than the on-airport rental car companies.
Shuttle and bus service:
Karst Stage is offering new airport shuttle service from Bozeman Airport to Big Sky ($50/person), West Yellowstone ($100/person), and Mammoth Hot Springs ($157/person). They also offer private shuttles. View their schedule for 2013 here. Private van to Big Sky $450 RT, Private SUV to Big Sky $538 RT.