Hampden council votes to keep Saturday bus service

Hampden resident Lori Lathrop (left) talks with Community Connector bus driver Tiffany Curtis on Saturday after leaving the bus at Pickering Square in downtown Bangor.
Nok-Noi Ricker | BDN
Hampden resident Lori Lathrop (left) talks with Community Connector bus driver Tiffany Curtis on Saturday after leaving the bus at Pickering Square in downtown Bangor. Buy Photo
Posted Aug. 18, 2014, at 8:53 p.m.

HAMPDEN, Maine — The Town Council voted 4-3 on Monday night to continue to subsidize the Community Connector bus service to Hampden on Saturdays.

The Saturday service costs the town $28,000. The route runs between downtown Hampden and the bus transfer hub at Pickering Square in Bangor.

Several residents testified in favor of the service, saying that though fewer people use it on Saturday, it’s necessary for those who do to keep their jobs. There were cheers from the audience after the councilors’ vote.

“I use the bus to get to my job at the Wal-Mart in Brewer,” Angela Rankin said. She said that it would cost her $60 a month if she had to take a taxi on Saturdays.

Others urged the councilors not to fund the service, saying that doing so is an irresponsible use of the taxpayers’ money.

“Keeping the Saturday bus service will only add to the certainty that taxes will continue to go up next year,” Terry McAvoy said. He argued that the service is used more by Bangor residents than Hampden residents.

On average, the Saturday bus runs in Hampden pick up between 95 and 105 fares throughout the day, compared with the weekday average of about 170 fares, Laurie Linscott, bus superintendent, told the Bangor Daily News on Friday.

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