A South Portland bus driving across the Casco Bay Bridge. (Staff photo by Derek Davis/Staff Photographer)

Several bus services in Southern Maine are launching a “Fare Deal” campaign that reduces costs from March 1 through Sept. 30. South Portland Bus Service, Biddeford Saco Old Orchard Beach (BSOOB) Transit, and Greater Portland METRO are running the campaign.

Fares will be half their regular price during this time period to customers using cash or the DiriGo Pass.

“With transportation costs often being one of the highest monthly household expenses, this promotion has the opportunity to provide great value for our communities. For those enrolled in the DiriGo fare program, fare capping will create additional savings,” said Chad Heid, executive director of BSOOB Transit. “We’re excited to offer this program to existing riders, along with attracting new riders who are feeling pain at the gas pump.”

When using a DiriGo Pass smartcard or mobile app, the customer will automatically pay the reduced rate when using these services.

DiriGo Pass was created by the three agencies in 2020 to make it easier and cheaper for customers.

“With stops at many of our area’s most popular destinations, the bus is a fantastic way for residents, employees and visitors to travel,” said Donna Tippet, director of the South Portland Bus Service. “Now riders can have their transportation needs met and experience what makes our communities special for half the cost. We hope those inspired to try or return to the bus continue riding well into the future.”


Transit agencies have reduced ridership since the COVID pandemic. For example, current use on the Greater Portland Metro is about 64% of what it was in 2019.

Campaigns such as these are aimed at increasing a user base once again. The “Fare Deal” campaign was one of multiple projects chosen by Portland Area Comprehensive Transportation System to draw locals back into public transportation.

“By reducing the cost of using public transportation, we are seeking to help transit users hit hard by inflation, and encourage more people to discover the many benefits of travelling around southern Maine by bus,” said Greg Jordan, executive director of Greater Portland METRO.

More information on Dirigo Pass, including translated instructions, is available at https://www.southportland.org/departments/bus-transportation/fare-schedules/


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