AUBURN — State officials are hoping residents will come to a public summit Dec. 10 to help shape the future of bus transit in Androscoggin, Franklin and Oxford counties.

The meeting is part of a state review of local transit, how it works and what needs to be done to improve it.

“It is for folks who really are dependent on transit services and making sure their needs are met,” Sue Moreau of the Maine Department of Transportation said.

Discussion is scheduled to include overviews of bus services in Lewiston-Auburn, rural Androscoggin County and Franklin and Oxford counties, as well as local strategies and forecasts for the next 10 years.

Moreau said she expects the meeting to include discussion of regional transportation between Lewiston-Auburn and the rural areas.

“For example, at the Portland meeting, the regional aspect came up,” she said. “If we are talking about any kind of intercity connection, that’s more of a community-to-community link, not just within a community.”


The meeting is scheduled for 3:30 p.m. Dec. 10 at the Auburn Public Library.

The state is required by the Federal Transit Agency to review transit every few years. Moreau said MDOT staff has met with residents in six other Maine regions. Androscoggin, Franklin and Oxford counties make up the state’s Region 7.

She expects the discussion will be limited to bus service.

“I know there is a lot of discussion about the Portland North aspect, either commuter or intercity rail going from Portland to Lewiston-Auburn and up to Bethel,” she said. “But our primary reason for having this summit is for folks who depend on transportation services regularly.”

Moreau said a report compiled from comments at the Auburn meeting should be released next spring.

That report, and information from the other regional meetings, will be included in a state transportation strategic plan due to be released in 2015.

One project being discussed is creating a three-loop system among Norway/South Paris, Farmington and Rumford/Mexico. It would be a scheduled service linking shopping and medical centers in those areas.

Other suggested topics include replacing old equipment, ways to pay for bus service without using social service money, expanding weekend service in the Twin Cities and enhancing bus service in northern Oxford County and to Western Maine recreational services such as the Oxford Casino and ski areas.

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