A Concord Coach Line bus arrives June 26, 2017 at the Auburn Bus Terminal in the Esplanade. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal file

LEWISTON — Concord Coach Lines will end service out of Lewiston at the end of June, but a new state-run bus line may be coming along right behind them.

The New Hampshire company announced Friday that they will no longer provide intercity scheduled bus service between Lewiston and Auburn stations and points north and south. This includes the termination of all operations from Bates College, the Great Falls Transportation Center and the Park and Ride off Maine Turnpike Exit 75.

The news release alludes to a new bus service that may be coming along to replace Concord Coach Lines this summer.

“We have been made aware that the Maine Department of Transportation is planning to start a contracted service that will continue to meet the needs of the Lewiston/Auburn community,” according to the release. “As we understand it, this new service will provide a higher frequency of service than we are able to offer, particularly during commuter hours.”

According to the release, the proposed MDOT service was not a factor in the Concord Coach Lines decision to end service from the Twin Cities.

“We apologize for any inconvenience this may cause to our valued passengers,” according to the release, written by Concord Coach Lines Regional Manager Dana Knapp. “We encourage our passengers to stay informed about the upcoming changes and new transportation options available through MaineDOT and look forward to working with this new service at the Portland Transportation Center to maintain meaningful ground transportation connections for the Lewiston/Auburn community to the region.”

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In February, it was announced that the MDOT was preparing to launch a pilot commuter bus service from Portland to Lewiston and Auburn. At the time, they were seeking bids from companies interested in winning the minimum two-year contract.

Estimates at the time were that the MDOT bus service could begin in early summer, with bus service provided on weekdays from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. and from 6 a.m. to 9:30 p.m. on weekends.

“We’re still working to finalize the contract and are hoping to have service in place by July 1 or soon thereafter,” said MDOT Spokesman Paul Merrill on Friday.

The new service make stops formerly covered by Concord Coach Lines, including Bates College, the Oak Street bus station in Lewiston, Great Falls and the turnpike Park and Ride in Auburn.

The goal is to attract some of the hundreds of workers who are traveling that route daily, according to a planning study. A majority of riders would come from the Lewiston and Auburn area, with about one-third originating from the Portland area.

The Bates College website also notes that Greyhound and Trailways bus services make regular stops in Lewiston.

The Concord Coach Lines service began servicing Lewiston and Auburn in 2017. The termination of service to the Twin Cities will not impact bus services in Bangor, Augusta or Portland, according to the release

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