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This week’s edition!

“This is ME Counting on You”

Public awareness campaign promotes pandemic safety

Sandy Buchanan of Western Maine Transportation Services places a “This is ME Counting on You” floor sticker on a passenger van at last week’s event. (Photo courtesy of Maine State Chamber)

From Maine State C of C

AUBURN – Last week, “This is ME Counting on You” floor stickers and other resources were placed on local public buses and vans, as well as buses and vans that connect with Brunswick, Bethel, Carrabassett Valley, Farmington, Oxford County and more.

Western Maine Transportation Services (WMTS) and citylink/Lewiston-Auburn Transit Committee joined the Lewiston Auburn Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce and the Maine State Chamber of Commerce at the Downtown Auburn Transportation Center on Thursday as part of  the “This is ME Counting on You” public awareness campaign.

Initiated by the Maine State Chamber in May, the campaign encourages Mainers and visitors to do their part to stop the spread or a resurgence of COVID-19.

Representatives at the event, including Lewiston and Auburn city officials, discussed increased public transportation safety measures and the importance of following recommended health and safety guidelines, such as wearing a mask and practicing social distancing, on public transit. Altogether, these protocols will help prevent COVID-19 from spreading or resurging, keeping Mainers healthy and ensuring Maine’s economy continues to recover.

“We are pleased to be here with Western Maine Transportation Services and citylink to help spread the word that they, like other businesses and organizations across Maine, take very seriously their role in keeping their patrons, employees, and communities safe, now more than ever,” said Dana Connors, president and CEO of the Maine State Chamber of Commerce. “We hope ‘This is ME Counting on You’ helps remind their riders that every individual has an important role to play in defeating COVID-19 and preventing a resurgence. We are counting on each other to be safe and responsible. Together, we can make sure Maine people and our communities stay safe and healthy, so Maine can get back to business and our economy can continue on a path toward a strong recovery.”

Sandy Buchanan, General Manager and Director of Operations for WMTS said, “WMTS public transit connects riders from Sugarloaf and Sunday River to Brunswick and many points in between. Our riders rely on us to safely get to work, school, and fulfill many of their essential needs. We are extra committed to keeping our passengers protected from COVID-19, and to protecting our frontline staff so they can be there for you. Please help by doing your part in the ‘This is ME Counting on You’ campaign. Mask up, social distance and limit interactions with the driver and other passengers, so we can continue to provide you the transportation you depend on and keep all of the communities we serve safe and healthy.”

Denis D’Auteuil, Lewiston’s City Administrator, welcomed the collaborative approach, saying, “This has been a tough time in communities nationwide, and, locally, we embrace the ‘This is ME Counting On You’ campaign. We want public transit users to be safe as they conduct their daily activities, and if we can count on each other to practice public transportation safety measures, we are all going to benefit. Masking up, social distancing, and following safety guidelines make sense for our transit users and for the community as a whole.”

Phil Crowell, Auburn City Manager, added, “The ‘This is ME Counting on You’ campaign is what the people of Auburn have been doing for over 150 years – counting on one another. It makes us stronger, safer, more united. The City of Auburn is proud to do our part to help support local businesses as well as residents and visitors. We need you to do your part. We’re counting on you.”

LA Metro Chamber of Commerce President and CEO Shanna Cox said, “One of the chief concerns among businesses in our region is their workforce – finding and retaining employees while keeping them healthy so operations can continue uninterrupted. The resources of this campaign – and the message – throughout our public transportation system highlights the direct and important link between healthy transportation options and a healthy workforce. All are required for healthy economy.”

Businesses and organizations across Maine are using free “This ME Counting on You” resources in their workplaces as reminders to practice social distancing, wear masks, and more. Resources available on the initiative’s website at: www.mecountingonyou.org  include printable posters, along with multiple versions of a “Thank You” card for businesses to give to customers and visitors thanking them for being safe and responsible. Floor stickers are available upon request. The campaign’s public service announcement is airing on Maine Public and cable television stations across Maine. The initiative is also on Facebook with the hashtag #MECountingOnYou.

The Maine State Chamber is working with its members, local and regional chambers of commerce including the Lewiston Auburn Metropolitan Chamber of Commerce, and organizations throughout Maine to spread the “This is ME Counting on You” message and share the initiative’s resources.

For more information about “This ME Counting on You” visit www.MeCountingOnYou.org. For more information about WMTS, visit www.wmtsbus.org. For more information about citylink/Lewiston-Auburn Transit Committee, visit www.avcog.org/877/citylink. 

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