Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senator Susan Collins, the Chairman of the Transportation Appropriations Subcommittee, announced that the City of Bangor’s Community Connector Public Transit System, the Maine Department of Transportation (MDOT), and the Biddeford-Saco-Old Orchard Beach Transit Committee have received a total of $3,223,567 to replace public transit vehicles that have exceeded their useful lives and construct a new transportation center. This funding was administered through the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Grants for Buses and Bus Facilities Program.
“Maine faces unique challenges that make transit services both necessary and difficult to maintain, including an older and rural population, a high number of road miles per capita, and high rates of poverty.” said Senator Collins. “This important funding will replace a total of 21 public transit vehicles and aid in the construction of a new transportation center, increasing access to employment, education, and health care for thousands of Mainers who use bus services.”
The funding is allocated as follows:
· City of Bangor’s Community Connector Public Transit System received $1,286,000 to construct a new multimodal bus transit center that will offer enhanced amenities, and improved accessibility to all transportation services provided in the Bangor area. Bangor’s current bus depot facility was built in 1989 and has not been updated since. This transportation center will also improve accessibility and mobility options for passengers with ADA needs. The Community Connector Public Transit System serves the greater Bangor region, including Brewer, Hampden, Orono, Veazie, and Old Town, and also provides direct service to students and faculty at the University of Maine.
· MDOT received $1,057,567 to replace 19 transit vehicles that have exceeded their useful lives through the Department’s “Building Trust in Transit: Improving Maine’s Rural Bus Fleet” project. These 19 replacement vehicles will provide immediate benefits for three regional transit providers: Downeast Community Partners, Kennebec Valley Community Action Program, and Waldo County Action Partners. These providers provide transit services for eight of Maine’s 16 counties.
· Biddeford-Saco-Old Orchard Beach Transit Committee received $880,000 to purchase two trolley buses to replace public vehicles that have exceeded their useful life. This funding will significantly enhance the quality of seasonal service to the area and reduce vehicle emissions. This system provides year-round and seasonal trolley services along Maine’s stretch of sandy beach and inland to the ancillary tourism-related facilities needed to support the significant influx of summer visitors to the region.
The Grants for Buses and Bus Facilities Program assists in the financing of buses and bus facilities capital projects, including replacing, rehabilitating, purchasing or leasing buses or related equipment, and rehabilitating, purchasing, constructing, or leasing bus-related facilities.