Commuter planning meeting for Portland North Tuesday night in Auburn Hall

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AUBURN —  A Twin Cities review of a commuter system north of Portland, whether it’s a new bus line or a commuter rail, is scheduled to begin at 6 p.m. Tuesday in Auburn Hall.

Officials from the Maine Department of Transportation are scheduled to discuss everything they’ve learned about what commuters in central Maine need at the meeting. It’s part of an MDOT study called Portland North, and officials will use it to apply for Federal Transit Administration grants in June.

The plan is considering several options. It could support a rail program — using existing freight tracks to either Brunswick or Auburn — or it could promote creating a rapid-transit regional bus system. That would involve creating dedicated commuter lanes on either Interstate 95 to Auburn or Interstate 295 to Brunswick.

Preliminary data show demand for commuter service favors commuters from Yarmouth, Freeport and Brunswick instead of Gray, New Gloucester, Durham and Lewiston-Auburn.

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staylor@sunjournal.com

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