June 21, 2018
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Public transit for Rockland and Camden moves forward

By Stephen Betts, BDN Staff

ROCKLAND, Maine — Informational meetings on the feasibility of public transportation along Route 1 in Knox County will be held next week.

The Midcoast Transit Committee and transportation specialists Nelson\Nygaard will provide the first findings on potential transit for the region.

The sessions will bring the public up to speed on the firm’s study , which includes the results of an online consumer survey, employer survey, data received from area transportation providers and national data, according to a news release from the committee.

The meetings will include breakout sessions so residents can help refine the information.

“The reality of a daily transit system could exist for our midcoast area, Camden to Thomaston, and this grant will provide the needed research to allow us to take the next step,” said Don White of Camden, chair of the Midcoast Transit Committee stated in the news release.

Daily bus service ended in the area in the late 1950s and further attempts at seasonal daily transit have been short lived. However, during the past several years, similar concepts have been a success in Bar Harbor, Augusta, York County, Bethel and Sugarloaf, the committee said.

In October 2011, Lee Karker of Coastal Trans and Tim Sullivan of Rockland hosted a transit get-together at the Rockland Public Library and in January of this year, the city hired Nelson\Nygaard for $60,000 to move the idea forward.

“We’ll be talking about the details around the economics and ridership needs for putting together a successful transit system in a rural area,” Carol Morris, a consultant for the study, said in a prepared statement. “We think that will be of interest to people who are serious about transit here. There has already been an astounding response to the online survey,” she said, “and so we are looking forward to good turnout and lively discussion at both these meetings.”

Meetings will be held at 6:30 p.m. Monday, June 24 at the Rockland Public Library and Tuesday, June 25 at the Camden Opera House.

Those with questions can email Carol Morris at cmorris@morriscomm.net or call 329-6502.

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