Transit group seeks a name

Posted Jan. 22, 2009, at 8:11 p.m.

MACHIAS, Maine — The group Washington County: One Community wants commuters and other travelers to let someone else do the driving.

The group kicked off a campaign this week to come up with a name for the county’s integrated transit system, which includes not only buses, but also taxis, ferry services and airports.

“Washington County: One Community is responding to many requests received from residents of Washington County to enhance the present transportation system. Private cars are expensive to own and operate. The solution is to develop more options that are convenient and affordable,” the agency said in a news release.

The problem is most people don’t think about taking the bus or other modes of transportation. “We want to get the word to the public that the system exists and it is possible to take a bus,” Barbara Drisko, the mobility manager for the agency, said Thursday. “It is not necessary to drive.”

Drisko said the county has some transportation options. West Bus Transportation Co. of Steuben operates one bus service and Washington Hancock Community Agency of Milbridge offers another.

West Bus is known as “fixed service” because it has specific routes and time schedules. Right now West operates round-trip service from Calais to Bangor along Route 1 with pickups along the way.

WHCA is described as “on-demand service” because it requires a reservation for transportation, the release added. “It is primarily for the elderly, and for other people if space is available,” Drisko said.

The agency hopes to enhance existing transportation services and is looking for people who would help get riders to the bus stops.

“I am looking right now for people who would be willing to take care of their town or their peninsula and coordinate with the people in that location with transportation, which probably would be a car from that area [to take people] up to Route 1 to a location where the bus would stop,” she said.

In the meantime, the agency is asking people to come up with a name for the county’s transportation system. The agency would like to see a short, catchy, positive and descriptive name for the service.

“[One} that will entice people to remember it and use the services,” the press release said. “The new name will be used along with the name that the providers use for their particular service.”

Send suggestions to barbara@mainerural.org or call 255-1336 or 483-2072.

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