PORTLAND — METRO will change its schedules and bus routes starting Jan. 10 so it can begin a daily service to businesses in the Five Star Industrial Park in Westbrook.

Some service along Washington Avenue to West Falmouth will also be eliminated.

Marketing director Denise Beck said in a press release that Route 4 will provide direct service to Idexx and surrounding businesses on Eisenhower Driver in Westbrook 10 times a day.

To accommodate the new service, METRO will no longer offer weekday Route 4 bus service along Forest Avenue and Woodford Street. Weekend services will remain intact, with the exception of service to Juniper Lane, which has been eliminated.

Idexx Facilities Manager Dick Daigle said he is excited to partner with METRO, saying public transportation will be a benefit not only for area workers, but also the environment.

“Public transportation helps our employees and the greater community by offering an alternative, safe method of transportation,” Daigle said. “And, (it) is consistent with Idexx’s goal of environmental responsibility.”

Other Route 4 changes include eliminating service to Route 25/New Gorham Road and Longfellow Street.

METRO will also reduce bus runs to Pride and East Bridge streets and Millbrook Estates, eliminating the weekday pick-ups at 8:05 a.m., 10:05 a.m., 4:25 p.m. and 5:45 p.m., as well as weekend pick-ups at 9:40 a.m., 11:40 a.m., 2:40 p.m. and 7:45 p.m.

METRO Board President Kevin Donoghue said the changes will also allow the state’s largest transit district, averaging 1.4 million riders a year, to double its bus service to the University of Southern Maine.

“METRO is working harder than ever to provide more utility to the public with existing resources,” Donoghue said.

Meanwhile, Route 6, which serves West Falmouth and the TD Bank headquarters, will also be reduced. Falmouth Crossing pick-ups at 9:10 a.m., 11:10 a.m., 2:45 p.m. and 4:45 p.m. will be eliminated.

Service to Falmouth Crossing after 6:45 p.m. on weekdays and Saturdays will continue, but only by special request.

New schedules and routes are available online at gpmetrobus.com, on METRO buses and at the METRO Pulse on Elm Street in Portland.

Randy Billings can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 100 or [email protected]

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