BIDDEFORD — ShuttleBus-Zoom will hold public meetings later this month to present information about its newly proposed Pulse System, which the company says includes comprehensive route changes and significantly simplifies local public transportation.

According to a press release issued Friday by ShuttleBus-Zoom, the Pulse System will expand coverage throughout local communities and public participation is encouraged as the company will be gathering comments and suggestions from attendees and through a public survey.

With annual ridership of about 355,000, ShuttleBus-Zoom provides bus service between Biddeford, Saco, Old Orchard Beach, Scarborough, and Portland with seven runs a day. It has 27 full-time employees, 17 part-time employees, 11 seasonal employees, with a $2.8 million operating budget and a capital budget of $1.1 million.

ShuttleBus-Zoom Fleet Manager Crag Pendleton said that the Pulse System will use the Saco Transportation Center as its operational hub with regular routes covering more than 1,200 miles per day and a seasonal trolley service covering 750 miles per day during the summer tourism season. Typical regular one-way fares are $1.50 and a monthly pass costs $30.

“All local routes and the Portland InterCity run will begin and end their 75 minute routes at the Transportation Center,” he said. “Zoom Turnpike Express will remain unchanged. Routes will be color coded for ease of identification. A new route will service the Saco Industrial Park as well as Route 1.”

Pendleton said that the Portland Intercity run will become a more direct route using Route 1 through Saco and Scarborough on its way to the Maine Mall, Greyhound Station and Congress Street.

“The local routes will be expanded to include more locations. Details of the proposed routes will be available at the public hearing and on the ShuttleBus-Zoom website,” Pendleton said. “ShuttleBus-Zoom has made significant improvements to its transit service including expanded routes and improved frequency; improved bus stops with signage and new bus shelters. We will be adding free WI-FI on all buses; and we have commenced a fleet modernization campaign.”

He said these improvements have been and will be paid for mostly with taxpayer dollars.

“ShuttleBus-Zoom wants to hear from riders, the general public, businesses, and social service agencies on how these changes might impact you,” Pendleton said.

Riders and stakeholders are encouraged to attend these open-forum, public meetings, held in these communities along ShuttleBus-Zoom routes:

• Old Orchard Beach Town Hall, 1 Portland Ave., Old Orchard Beach, from 6 to 7 p.m. May 28

• Saco Transportation Center, 130 Main St., Saco, from 6 to 7 p.m. May 29

• McArthur Public Library, community room,, 270 Main St., Biddeford, from 6 to 7 p.m. May 30

Pendleton said those who cannot attend are asked to fill out a survey either online at www.shuttlebus-zoom.com or hard copies are available on the buses and at the ShuttleBus-Zoom offices at 13 Pomerleau St. in Biddeford.

The team at ShuttleBus-Zoom has spent much of the last year working with the Maine Department of Transportation and attending community meetings to find out the needs of area residents to better tailor the system, Pendleton said.

He said that information gathered from the community meetings and specific research taken from bus users has helped guide the decisions of the board to make the bus system more accessible for those who use it.

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