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

Monday, March 21, 2011

Regional Commuter Buses Could Come Next Year - If Transit Advocates Speak Up on Tuesday

LD 673, An Act To Expand Fiscally Responsible Transportation through Increased ZOOM Bus Service, is a bill that would establish new express commuter bus services to serve downtown areas along the Maine Turnpike corridor - an important step towards building more sustainable communities, reducing transportation costs for governments and households alike, and reducing Maine's reliance on oil.

This bill would, for the first time, shift the Maine Turnpike Authority's spending away from expensive highway widenings, and towards cost-effective transit - saving Maine millions of dollars in tolls and gasoline costs every year.

I've been working on this bill with the Maine Alliance for Sustainable Transportation for several months now. I'm very pleased to say that its chances look good: we have enlightened new management at the Turnpike Authority in Peter Mills, and a long list of sponsors from both political parties.

Still, many of the staff of the old "Turnpork Authority" still have their jobs and still want to keep Maine dependent on oil and pavement. They're still spending lots of money on lobbyists to maintain the status quo as much as possible.

LD 673 has a public hearing tomorrow in the State House, in Augusta. We want to pack the room with transit supporters. You should come.

We'll be arranging carpools - RSVP on Facebook if you'd like a ride from Portland or Lewiston. Come tell our lawmakers that Maine needs this bill to pass this year!

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

So the new service would include a bus from Kennebunk to downtown Portland? That would be great!