April 26, 2018
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Plan to eliminate Hampden bus route Saturdays is the focus of public meeting

By Dawn Gagnon, BDN Staff

HAMPDEN, Maine — A proposal to eliminate the Community Connector’s Saturday runs in Hampden is the focus of a public meeting set for 3 p.m. Wednesday at City Hall in Bangor.

During budget deliberations earlier this year, members of the Hampden Town Council voted to do away with the Saturday bus service as a way to save $28,000 a year. In addition to serving Hampden residents, the Hampden route also serves part of Bangor, from the Bangor-Hampden town line to the bus transfer hub at Pickering Square.

Several residents since have told town officials they depend on the bus to travel to work and for other activities.

Among them is Angela Rankin, who lives on Main Road North and works in Brewer.

“Everybody keeps saying nobody is taking the bus on Saturday,” she said during a June 16 council meeting. Rankin said when she took the bus to work Saturday, she counted 10 other people who got on the bus traveling to downtown Bangor, where she makes her connection to Brewer.

Laurie Linscott, interim bus superintendent for the Community Connector, also was at the meeting. She said that if five people made comments, she was obligated to hold a public meeting.

The Community Connector held a public comment period on the proposed change that ran through July 2. The minimum number of comments were submitted, and the public meeting was scheduled.

No local decision could be made until that step was completed, Town Manager Susan Lessard said earlier.

Operated by the city of Bangor, the Community Connector provides public bus service in Bangor, Brewer, Hampden, Veazie, Orono and Old Town, as well as for the University of Maine, Husson University and the New England School of Communications.

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