Kennebunk residents will soon be able to take a bus to get to various locales around town. The projected start date for the new Tuesday service is Dec. 3. Tammy Wells Photo

KENNEBUNK – Contrary to the old Maine saw, which says it isn’t possible, residents will soon be able to get there, from here.

Residents will be “getting there,” to the local market, to the library, to local shopping centers and to other spots on Tuesdays starting around Dec. 3, when a new service called the KITT – Kennebunk In-Town Transportation – makes its debut.

Riders will be picked up at centralized locations and then dropped at their destinations.

The service is a collaboration between Kennebunk’s Community Development Department, York County Community Action Corporation’s Transportation division and the Southern Maine Planning and Development Commission.

The KITT service will bring a second day of transportation to residents. Currently, YCCAC provides a “Local Rides” curb-to-curb service every Wednesday for Kennebunk folks needing to travel to Biddeford for medical appointments and shopping. YCCAC community relations manager Brad Bohon said this service will continue.

Kennebunk Community Development Director Christopher Osterrieder said residents have made it clear that a lack of public transportation is an issue. He said the department made a number of visits to community organizations like The New School, Brick Store Museum, Kennebunk Free Library and many of the affordable housing communities in town to hear from local people.

“A recurring theme during these visits was the need for access to in-town transportation to utilize local services such as hair appointments, prescription pick-up, the library and shopping,” said Osterrieder. “These concerns have been echoed by our representatives on the Committee on Aging.”
“Getting people where they need to go is critical to the health and vitality of any community,” said Transportation Director for YCCAC, Robert Currie. “Our transportation program promotes independence and self-sufficiency by providing the means for residents to get to work, attend doctor appointments, do errands, and more.”

Town Manager Michael Pardue agreed.
“We heard loud and clear from so many of our residents who do not own a car or have access to transportation, that basic trips like shopping for food and picking up medication is a challenge,” said Pardue.

Kennebunk will monitor the new in-town route and its effectiveness over the next several months to determine if any changes or adjustments will need to be made to the stops or the timing, organizers say.

“We are very excited and extremely proud to offer this service to our residents and are invested in the success of this initiative. Our hope is that it is so successful we’re able to add an additional day in the future and serve even more of our community with transportation services,” said Pardue.

Osterrieder said the cost to the town of Kennebunk is currently estimated to be about $20,000 through June 30, and about $34,000 for the following year.
The in-town route, which is expected to begin Tuesday, Dec. 3, will be published on the town’s website once finalized, at  www.kennebunkmaine.us/Transportation. Residents wishing to utilize the Wednesday curb-to-curb Biddeford route “Local Rides” program may make a reservation by calling 324-5762.

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