Greater Portland METRO is pausing efforts to revamp bus service on the Portland peninsula. We’re taking this step to further study and integrate future bus route changes on the peninsula into a region-wide bus system redesign effort that begins in May. This initiative is called Transit Together and will support the region’s transit agencies in a collaborative effort to deliver more seamless service.

We take seriously the concerns expressed by some current riders about possible changes on the peninsula. I’m certain we can address those concerns while still substantially improving transit service.

METRO’s proposed changes would improve mobility on the Portland peninsula. They’re designed to increase bus service frequency along Congress Street and achieve wait times of less than 10 minutes. Expanded service is planned for the India Street neighborhood along with eastern waterfront, Commercial Street, Munjoy Hill and East Bayside, among others. The new proposed circulator would interconnect the entire peninsula with faster, bi-directional service, reduce travel times and allow for easier connections between bus, rail and ferry services.

Transit networks function best when they are planned and operated in a comprehensive and integrated manner. “Go-it-alone” approaches to transit planning and service delivery hurt current riders, limit the prospect of attracting new riders, and force taxpayers to spend more. That’s why METRO believes it’s important to integrate further development of these proposed route changes into the Transit Together initiative.

Public transit struggles with achieving the right balance of covering as many places as possible and providing direct, quick service. We have an obligation to prioritize service for those who need it most. But our goal must be to create a regional mobility system that offers highly accessible mobility for riders who need it, along with simple and swift mobility for all. The Transit Together initiative will help us accomplish these goals.

Greg Jordan
Executive Director
Greater Portland Metro

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