GPCOG_TG_logo_20211217.png

The Future of Transit

Fall 2022 Outreach

Bus-Icon.png
We're Proposing Bus Route Changes, and We Want Your Input

The Transit Together study has developed two scenarios for improving the bus network in the Greater Portland region, and we'd like your feedback on these potential changes. To collect feedback, we’ve developed a detailed survey that explains how your bus route might change under each scenario. Maps and descriptions of the scenarios are included below.

This survey can take anywhere from five to 25 minutes to complete, depending on how many questions you choose to answer. All questions are optional and responses are anonymous by default.

We are holding in-person pop-up events about the scenarios during the week of September 19th at various locations; a full listing of the events is at the bottom of this page.

About the Scenarios

 

Each of Transit Together's proposed scenarios for improving bus service in the Greater Portland region includes changes to bus routes operated by Biddeford-Saco-Old Orchard Beach Transit, Greater Portland Metro, and South Portland Bus Service, as well as to the Southern Maine Connector and the Lakes Region Explorer routes.

 

These changes are proposals only and are not yet planned to happen. The results of this survey will help us understand which changes are supported by the public, and which changes aren’t. Transit providers won’t pick one of these scenarios to implement as a whole; they will review responses to this survey and then create a new, recommended network that combines the best improvement options from both scenarios.

The two scenarios are summarized here and shown in the maps below. Questions in the survey will allow you to read more about how each bus route would change under each scenario.

What is Microtransit?

Both scenarios propose microtransit zones. Microtransit is an on-demand transit service where riders can call or use an app to schedule a small transit vehicle (for example, a minivan) to drive them to and from their requested destination, or to a nearby intersection. If multiple people request a trip at the same time, the vehicle may pick people up together for a carpool-type ride, making the trip more efficient but longer.

Person Using Mobile
TNC Van.png
Consistent Service.png
Scenario 1:
Simpler, More Consistent Service

 

This scenario focuses on making bus route frequencies more consistent, and on making routes easier to understand and use. It increases the frequencies of many bus routes to every 60 or 30 minutes, reduces the number of alternate route patterns, and reduces the number of deviations that increase travel times for many rides.

 

Major improvements in Scenario 1 include:

  • More routes operate on main roads where land uses are denser. This also allows bus routes to operate along more of a straight and direct path, which reduces travel time for riders.

  • Many bus routes operate on Congress Street in Portland, creating a high-frequency bus corridor where buses may arrive as often as every 10 minutes, meaning riders won’t need a bus schedule for travel along Congress Street, and allowing transfers to occur at many stops.

  • Microtransit zones in Falmouth and South Portland.

  • An hourly bus connecting Portland, South Portland, Scarborough, Old Orchard Beach, and Saco.

  • An hourly bus route connecting Sanford, Biddeford, and Saco.

Passenger Demand.png
Scenario 2:
Focus on Rider Demand

 

This scenario focuses on providing more transit service where there is more demand for it. The scenario makes many of the simplification, frequency, and speed and directness improvements that Scenario 1 does, but also proposes the region’s first bus route to arrive every 15 minutes for extended periods of the day (Route 4 in Westbrook and Portland).

 

Major improvements in Scenario 2 include:

  • Westbrook-Downtown Portland - A bus that arrives every 15 minutes during the peak periods, connecting Westbrook and downtown Portland via Brighton Avenue.

  • Maine Mall-Redbank Village-Downtown Portland - Faster, more direct connections between the Maine Mall and Redbank Village areas and downtown Portland.

  • More bus routes that serve Portland’s Eastern Waterfront.

  • More routes operate on main roads where land uses are denser. This also allows bus routes to operate along more of a straight and direct path, which reduces travel time for riders.

  • Microtransit zones in Falmouth, South Portland, and Biddeford/Saco/Old Orchard Beach.

  • An hourly bus route connecting Sanford, Biddeford, and Saco.

There are trade-offs with these types of improvements, the most considerable of which is that some places will no longer have transit service, and some people will need to travel further to get to a bus stop.

The comparison slider maps below illustrate the differences, by region, for the two scenarios. In the default view, Scenario 1 is on the left, with Scenario 2 on the right. Hover over the maps and move the slider in the middle to either side to view each scenario in its entirety.

Scenarios 1 & 2 Comparison: Portland Area
Scenarios 1 & 2 Comparison: Biddeford - Saco - Old Orchard Beach Area

To provide your feedback on these scenarios, please take the survey:

Transit Together is a study being conducted by the Greater Portland Council of Governments in coordination with the region’s transit providers.

Outreach Sharekit

 

Want to spread the word? Please click below to download posters that you can print and place somewhere people will see, such as in store windows, in break rooms, or on community bulletin boards. There are also graphics for posting on social media. Thanks for your help in getting the word out!

  • Twitter graphics – suggested text: “We're sharing ideas for improving transit service! Learn about proposed changes to bus routes and take a survey to tell us what you think. Click for more info: www.transittogether.org

  • Instagram graphics – suggested text: “We're sharing ideas for improving transit service! Learn about proposed changes to bus routes and tell us what you think in our online survey. Link with more info in bio.”

  • Facebook graphics – suggested text: “We’re sharing ideas for improving transit service in the region! Learn more about proposed changes to bus routes, and take an online survey to tell us what you think! Click here for more info: www.transittogether.org

  • LinkedIn graphics – suggested text: “We are considering improvements to local and regional transit service, and want to share our ideas with riders and receive feedback. Learn about the proposed changes to bus routes and tell us what you think in our online survey. For more information, visit www.transittogether.org.”