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WMTS launches survey to get feedback on public transportation needs

In response to a growing need for public transportation, Western Maine Transportation Services has launched an online survey to get public feedback on how to improve public transportation throughout its service area, which includes Androscoggin, Franklin and Oxford Counties and the cities of Brunswick and Topsham.

“We’re seeking input from as many people in our service area as we can reach, whether they use currently-available public transportation or not,” said WMTS General Manager Sandy Buchanan. “This survey is about determining real-world needs so WMTS can work to offer relevant rural and urban public transportation options for everyone’s benefit.”

The survey asks why people do – or do not – use public transportation, and if they do, where and when they use it. A series of questions allows survey takers to note what changes, additions and improvements they would like to see to fill gaps in transportation services, including rural-to-rural and rural-to-urban connections. Anyone needing a printed version of the survey may call WMTS at 800-393-9335, ext. 208. Otherwise, they survey can be accessed online at www.wmtsbus.org. It must be completed by May 8.

Part of a study funded by the Maine Department of Transportation to improve transit in Maine, the survey will help evaluate the feasibility of new routes and connections, along with a range of strategies for funding. Once the study is completed in August, WMTS will focus on identifying funding sources and moving towards implementation of the region’s priorities, as indicated by the survey and interviews with area businesses, hospitals, schools and non-profits.

“We hear every day that the region needs more transportation options to ease the stress of commuting to work, to allow people to access educational opportunities, and to get to everything from essential services like grocery shopping and healthcare appointments to just going to the movies,” continued Buchanan. “We are aware of how the number of people in our service area who don’t drive due to economic, age-related, or medical reasons – or just out of personal preference – is growing. These people span all age and socio-economic groups and also include tourists. This survey is the public’s chance to tell us what their transportation needs are.”

As a nonprofit 501(c)(3) public transportation corporation established by statute in 1976, WMTS currently operates bus and van services centered around population centers throughout its service area, as well as Lewiston-Auburn’s citylink buses, the Lisbon Connection commuter bus, the Brunswick Explorer bus and the Mountain Explorer and Sugarloaf Explorer seasonal bus services.

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