A blog for better streets and public spaces in Portland, Maine.

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Free rides on Friday

"Governor John E. Baldacci today announced efforts his Administration is taking to help Mainers cope with rising heating and transportation costs and to keep Maine people safe and warm this winter." - Nov. 16 press release

One of these efforts includes free rides on Maine's transit systems this Friday, including BAT in Bangor, METRO in Portland, ZOOM and Shuttlebus in Biddeford/Saco, and KV Transit in the Kennebec valley. The Governor's office hopes that these free rides will introduce people to transit and generate higher ridership during the rest of the week and past the conclusion of the free rides program six weeks from now.

A tip for the governor: not wasting hundreds of millions of dollars every year on outdated highway projects and building real, reliable, and convenient transit networks might be another good way to boost ridership, someday. You know, in case Mainers find themselves unable to afford $3 a gallon for gas, or in case we suddenly learn that our vehicles are causing irreversible harm to Maine's forest and ocean ecosystems. If these wacky sci-fi scenarios were ever to come to pass, it would be nice to have some sort of alternative, don't you think?

In the meantime, six days of free transit amounts to a few crumbs thrown to a starving citizenry... but we'll take it.

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