Midcoast communities investigate public transit opportunities
Four coastal towns are evaluating their communities’ need for some level of expanded public transit.
Camden, Rockport, Rockland and Thomaston have joined together to help fund a fact-based study that will identify transportation gaps and assess what kind of a system could best fill them — and how it might be funded.
“I hear repeatedly from people in the Midcoast that they are interested in having more public transportation,” said Don White, Camden selectman and chairman of the Midcoast Transit Committee, which is overseeing the study. The Midcoast Transit Committee includes representatives from the four municipalities, Coastal Trans and MaineDOT.
“Our goal is to find out what kind of ridership a public transit system could get, who would use it, what the most-used routes would be, and how we could get it funded,” said White in a news release. “We’ll be looking at all the possibilities.”
The study will evaluate key travel destinations such as employment, service and activity centers, and review the use and effectiveness of existing transportation options. Regular commuter travel patterns as well as errand-oriented travel patterns will also be mapped to compare existing service with current and potential needs.
The study team, headed by Nelson Nygaard, a firm specializing in transit planning nationwide, will be reaching out to the public in a variety of ways to gather feedback. Telephone interviews with employers, outreach at local stores, and starting next month, an online survey.
“For those who are able to get out and attend public workshops, we’re planning one in June and one in November,” White said.
The study website will be available early next month; in the meantime, people with questions can email Carol Morris of Morris Communications, who is handling public outreach for Nelson Nygaard, at firstname.lastname@example.org.