Penquis-area group backs public transit

Posted April 21, 2010, at 8:11 p.m.
Last modified Jan. 30, 2011, at 12 p.m.

DOVER-FOXCROFT, Maine — A group of residents who are concerned about the lack of public transportation in the Penquis region and the need to improve the environment organized an excursion to Bangor on Tuesday on the Lynx.

The Penquis-sponsored Lynx offers transportation services for residents of Penobscot and Piscataquis counties by appointment.

“The Lynx excursion is the start of a campaign to establish a better culture of conservation and environmental awareness in our towns, so that people will come together to travel in the very most efficient way to enable our rural lives here to be more sustainable,” Sidney Mitchell, a community environmental and social justice activist from Dover-Foxcroft, said Monday.

None of the participants in Tuesday’s trip, which included residents from Dexter, Dover-Foxcroft, St. Albans and Abbot, had used the Lynx before, according to Mitchell. Their common ground is they all are concerned about the lack of public transportation and the need to have a lighter carbon footprint on the planet, she said.

The residents involved in the trip eventually hope to see the region served by a 15-seat van that would travel back and forth from Bangor to all of the surrounding towns, with the possibility of linking up with the BAT for areas outside the city.

“This particular action is to get more cars off the road and more people using public transit,” Mitchell said. She said the ride to Bangor on the Lynx was just the first step for the group, which plans to work with town and state officials to organize a public transportation system.

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Mitchell said it’s important to demonstrate that there is a desire and a need for public transportation in the outlying areas of Bangor. “I think it’s very evident that there’s a need because the roads are just chock-full of cars going back and forth constantly, and obviously a lot of these people aren’t just going to jobs,” she said.

People are so accustomed to the idea of traveling in their private vehicles that they don’t realize the tremendous convenience and economy public transit could bring, according to Mitchell. She said she hoped that message could bring change to the region.

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