How Important is Public Transit to You?

October 23, 2013 at 3:25 pm Leave a comment

Get on the Bus - mother & daughterHow important is public transit to you?  For myself and many folks I know it’s a critical component to reducing household vehicle costs (one less car) and offering reliable transportation to work.

It’s also misunderstood by many. (Why can’t we have more frequent service?  Why doesn’t the bus go where I want it to go? Why can’t rider fares pay for the service – why does the bus have to be subsidized?) Simplified answers: Funding, Funding, and Funding (well, and all transportation is subsidized, including the car I drive.)

MaineDOT is conducting a statewide effort to gather information on the wants, needs and willingness of the general public to pay for public transit in Maine.

They are using the following methods to do so:

  • A  phone survey to derive some statistically significant information
  • Soliciting feedback through via email at transit.mainedot@maine.gov
  • Holding the following public transit summits (one of which has already occurred):
    • Region 1 – November 7th – 1:00 pm to 3:30 pm – UMPI, St John Room, 181 Main St., Presque Isle
    • Region 2 – December 3rd – 1:00 pm to 3:30 pm – Ellsworth City Hall – Auditorium, 1 City Hall Plaza
    • Region 3 – November 12th – 1:00 pm to 3:30 pm – Bangor Parks & Rec, 647 Main St.
    • Region 4  – October 17th – 9:00 am to 11:30 am – Waterville Armory, 74 Drummond Ave.
    • Region 5 – October 31st – 1:00 pm to 3:30 pm – UMaine Hutchinson Ctr, 80 Belmont Ave., Belfast
    • Region 6 – November 14th – 3:30 pm – 6pm – Portland Public Library, 5 Monument Square
    • Region 7 – December 10th – 3:30 – 6pm – Auburn Public Library, 49 Spring Street
    • Region 8 – November 13th – 1:00 pm to 3:30 pm – Trafton Center, 19 Elm Street, Sanford

Hope some of us can make it to these.  And if not, please weigh-in to the DOT via e-mail and definitely answer the phone if they call.

Editor’s update from 11/14/13: I arrived at the Summit in Portland at a little after 3:30 today to discover the meeting was just ending and that it had actually been scheduled from 1-3:30pm – agggh.  I just checked and the e-mail I got from a State Rep had the time listed as I had listed it above.  There were other folks arriving, too.  So sorry it was wrong – how frustrating for all of us! 

I’m going to e-mail the DOT contact for more information and any additional way for us to give input.  I’ll also check on the rest of the dates while I’m at it. Shoot me an e-mail if you’d like a copy of anything that they may pass on and I’ll send it your way.

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