Wednesday, 18 April 2018 22:12

"Transportation for All" group pushes for city bus improvements Featured

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BANGOR - The local advocacy group presented their own survey on regional bus usage to Bangor's Government Operations Committee.

The group said extending bus hours was a top concern for bus riders and non-bus riders surveyed.


According to the city of Bangor's website, buses run from 6:15 a.m. to 6:15 p.m.


Transportation for All, or "TFA", said having buses running later into the evening would help those who rely on public transit. They also said this would enable more people to go shopping or attend events later in the day, helping the local economy.


The bus riders present said they'd be willing to pay more if it meant extending service hours.


TFA also wants Bangor City Council to develop a permanent body to get input from bus users.


At Wednesday's meeting, city officials said they are looking into extending service, but changes can't be made right away.


Half a dozen people at the meeting said they had to get a ride just to attend, because the meeting ran after bus service hours.


"We started making some improvements and conversations with the city," said TFA volunteer Kim Meyerdierks. "And some of it has kind of broken down."


Bangor's Assistant City Manager and Director of Human Resources Michael Crooker said the bus fleet would first need to be upgraded and more maintenance staff would need to be hired.


"Like anything, if you spend enough money and put enough resources into it, those things can be looked at," said Assistant City Manager Crooker.


City officials said the next transit study will focus on routes, but TFA wants to see that money used to extend hours.


"People have needs right now," said Meyerdierks. "And just like planning for your kid's future, you should do that, but you should not leave undone things that would help the general public."


City officials said during the meeting they're doing the best they can and were sorry if TFA felt like they haven't been heard.


Officials added that the regional Community Connector bus system services half a dozen towns.

Kelly Mitchell

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Kelly Mitchell joined the news team in March of 2018. She grew up splitting her time between York, ME and Haverhill, MA, but her favorite childhood memories took place along the rocky coast of southern Maine. She's now e...