BRUNSWICK — Town officials are exploring the feasibility of adding commuter bus service from Portland, building on Portland METRO’s plans to start running buses to Freeport and Yarmouth next summer.

Although both sides described the talks as preliminary, representatives from the town and METRO expressed strong interest Monday in expanding regular bus service farther up the coast. The first question is whether the two partners can qualify for the same type of grant funding that has allowed Freeport and Yarmouth to launch a three-year pilot project.

“I think this is a great idea and I definitely hope we pursue this further,” Brunswick Town Councilor Steve Walker said Monday night during a council briefing on the preliminary discussions.

The Greater Portland Transit District, which operates the METRO buses, is refining plans to begin offering up to 10 round-trip runs on weekdays between Portland, Yarmouth and Freeport.

METRO officials said Monday that they are hoping to receive approval for their cost-sharing request to state and federal agencies next month. According to METRO’s current timeline, the three new buses would be delivered next spring and regular service could begin by next summer. Fares are projected to be $3 each way.

On Monday, METRO officials held the first of two community planning workshops this week to solicit feedback from users of the Freeport and Yarmouth service, with the second workshop planned for 6 p.m. Wednesday at the Freeport Community Center. METRO officials are seeking comment on pick-up and drop-off locations, bus amenities and whether to offer fewer daily trips on weekdays in order to offer some service on Saturday and Sunday.

Both METRO and Brunswick officials said it is too late to add Brunswick to the mix for next year. And without state or federal subsidies, the town would have to pick up the full cost of the expansion, which Jordan estimated at nearly $200,000 a year. Freeport and Yarmouth expect to pay roughly $30,000 annually for the first three years, followed by $50,000 a year after the subsidized pilot project ends.

But METRO Executive Director Greg Jordan was excited about the prospect of a future expansion and called Brunswick a “major destination,” given the size of the town, the presence of Bowdoin College and Brunswick’s bustling downtown business district.

Jordan recently met with Brunswick Town Council Chairman Benet Pols, Town Manager John Eldridge and Planning Director Anna Breinich to discuss the issue. Pols said Monday that Jordan has offered to provide a more formal cost estimate for a Brunswick expansion.

“We have already broached the subject with the college and they were very enthusiastic about METRO coming here,” Eldridge said.

Cumberland officials recently opted out of the planned expansion to Freeport and Yarmouth, citing concerns about the planned route and the costs. But Brunswick is a much larger community with a town center, Bowdoin College and an existing transportation hub already serviced by both Amtrak and the Concord Coach Lines bus service.

Pols said that some people who had hoped Amtrak’s Downeaster service to Portland and Boston could become a commuter train have been disappointed with the cost and timing of the trains. And while Concord Coach Lines runs two buses in each direction daily, the schedule between Brunswick and Portland would not permit a commuter to work a normal 9-5 workday.

Portland METRO now provides roughly 1.5 million rides per year to Portland, Westbrook and Falmouth. The planned service to Freeport and Yarmouth would be the first major expansion in a decade.