HAMPDEN, Maine — Nearly a year after they voted 4-3 to continue subsidizing the Community Connector bus service in Hampden, town councilors Monday are expected to decide whether they want to begin the process of suspending the service.
Last year, several councilors and residents said the Saturday bus runs were too expensive and that there was no way to tell how many Hampden residents used the service because part of the run is in Bangor. After two required public hearings — one in Hampden and the second in Bangor by Community Connector officials — brought out a handful of residents who said they needed to bus to get to work Saturdays, the decision was made to keep it.
During this year’s budget development process, eliminating the Saturday bus runs has come up again and will be considered during a Hampden Town Council meeting set for 7 p.m. Monday.
Town Manager Susan Lessard said earlier this month the proposed 2015-2016 municipal budget does not include funding for weekend bus runs. She said, however, the town is exploring alternative transportation options, including contract arrangements with other transportation providers.
On average, the Saturday bus runs in Hampden last year picked up between 95 and 105 fares throughout the day, compared with the weekday average of about 170 fares.