Portland Metro will likely cancel two underperforming stops on its Breez shuttle as it fine-tunes the commuter shuttle between Portland and communities north of the city.

The agency intends to cancel stops at the Falmouth Shopping Center and a Yarmouth park-and-ride in August, to coincide with an expansion of the Breez service to Brunswick, said Metro general manager Greg Jordan. The agency will decide on the stops next month.

“They have not been generating nearly enough boardings to justify keeping the service,” Jordan said of the Falmouth and Yarmouth stops.

Breez has shown strong ridership otherwise and the service is expanding, Jordan added.

Metro and Freeport are discussing a new stop at the intersection of Route 1 and Desert Road and the Brunswick expansion will add three stops, he said.

Schedule and route changes are expected with a new service, Jordan added.


“You are always going to have to make course corrections based on what is working and what is not,” he said.

Breez launched as a three-year pilot service in June 2016 with federal and local funding. It makes 10 weekday trips and runs a limited service on weekends. It has more than a dozen stops between the Portland Transportation Center and Freeport village.

The first full year of service was successful, with 22,000 boardings, Jordan said. Metro is aiming for the service, including Brunswick, to have up to 40,000 boardings a year by the end of the pilot, he said.

The Breez shuttle makes only three midday stops in Falmouth, which requires it to deviate from its regular route on Interstate 295. That compromises speed and efficiency, which are key to the service, Jordan said.

“It makes it slower for people who are trying to get into and out of Portland,” he said.

Only 224 people got on the Breez bus at the Falmouth stop during the first year of service, about 1 percent of total boardings, and the park-and-ride stop on the town line between Yarmouth and Freeport produced “virtually no boardings,” Jordan said.


More than half the boardings on the service, 12,735, were in Portland. Freeport had the second-highest boardings, with 5,802 riders, and Yarmouth was third, with 3,240 riders.

Metro’s No. 7 bus runs into Falmouth with stops at the Falmouth Shopping Center, Oceanview housing development and the Town Landing Market on Route 88.

Falmouth Town Manager Nathan Poore, who also sits on the Metro board of directors, said canceling the Breez stop may be inconvenient for some people, but no residents have contacted him to complain.

“It’s just not working, ridershipwise,” Poore said. “Had I received a lot of comments on this, I would be listening and taking it very seriously.”

Peter McGuire can be contacted at 791-6325 or at:


Twitter: PeteL_McGuire

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