BLUE HILL, Maine — Downeast Transportation Inc., working with Eastern Agency on Aging and Bucksport Bay Healthy Communities Coalition, will renew bus service between Blue Hill, Bucksport and Bangor beginning Tuesday.
The bus service will operate on a trial basis once a month for three months, according to DTI General Manager Paul Murphy. He explained that the company had run the bus service on a weekly basis for about a year and a half.
“It didn’t go great,” he said.
With low ridership, subsidy cuts and cost increases, he said, the company was forced to end the weekly service earlier this year. Murphy said, however, that volunteers with Bucksport Bay Healthy Communities Coalition worked with Eastern Agency on Aging, which has agreed to subsidize the monthly bus service for three months.
“They believe they have a significant group of people who will ride on a monthly basis,” Murphy said. “We’re more than willing to see if they’re right.”
The service will begin Tuesday and operate on a trial basis on the third Tuesday of each month with a trip to Bangor in the morning and from Bangor in the afternoon. The service will start in Blue Hill, with stops in Orland and Bucksport.
According to Murphy, the bus also will remain in Bangor between trips to ferry passengers between Bangor destinations. The new service will facilitate shopping, medical appointments and other activities in Bangor, as well as access to intercity bus terminals.
The roundtrip fare is $5 from Blue Hill and $3 from Bucksport.