Thursday, May 23, 2013
Falmouth voters overwhelmingly rejected a referendum on Tuesday that would have ended Metro bus service in town at the end of 2013. The vote was 5,289 to 2,223.
Last November, the Town Council voted 5-2 against a similar proposal to withdraw from the Greater Portland Transit District, which also serves Portland and Westbrook.
Michael Doyle of Shady Lane got the referendum question on Tuesday’s ballot by collecting signatures from at least 10 percent of Falmouth’s 8,472 registered voters.
While Doyle questions the need for the government-subsidized service, the Falmouth Flyer drew overwhelming support from residents who attended public hearings in recent months.
The Falmouth Flyer cost town taxpayers about $105,000 in the fiscal year that ended June 30 and will cost about $115,000 in fiscal 2012-13, said Town Manager Nathan Poore.
Ridership on the Falmouth Flyer has increased steadily since it started operating, from 54,484 trips in 2005 to 78,912 trips in 2011, according to the transit district.
In this 2004 file photo, passengers board the Falmouth Flyer Metro Pulse bus at Wal-Mart in Falmouth. Voters on Tuesday, Nov. 6, 2012 rejected a measure to end bus service.
Jill Brady / Staff Photographer