A pilot program to offer regular bus service in the Rockland area could begin next month.

Details on the tentative public transportation plan were unveiled Wednesday night, Jan. 3, to the Rockland City Council by Steffanie Pyle of Waldo County Action Partners of Belfast.

Pyle stressed that the route and schedules were tentative, but said she expected that the service would begin in February.

She said the service would likely run from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. on weekdays and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturdays and certain minor holidays. Stops would range from Pen Bay Medical Center in Rockport to Wal-Mart in Thomaston with many stops in between.

The fare has yet to be determined, but would likely be about $1 to $2. She said the fare must be affordable to attract riders.

The test route would last for six months to assess the demand.

She said the route is based on a public transit study conducted in 2014. A Midcoast Maine Transit Committee met for two years before concluding that while there was a need for public transportation in the region, there were significant obstacles, including an insufficient concentration of population and a lack of parties willing to contribute to the service.

Pyle said the Waldo County organization believes it can provide the service where other attempts have not been successful because it already has the vehicles. The transit study conducted a few years ago had an estimated startup cost of $500,000.

Money for the service comes from federal money distributed by the Maine Department of Transportation. She said money will also be sought from the businesses on the route.

Proposed stops include PBMC, Hannaford, Fieldcrest and Coughlin Park housing complexes, the Bureau of Motor Vehicles, the Methodist Conference Home, Stella Maris, Maritime Farms in Rockland near the Thomaston town line, Wal-Mart, Rite-Aid, the Breakwater Marketplace, and Ocean State Job Lot.