The Community Connector is a fixed route bus system serving the Greater Bangor Urbanized Area, operating within Bangor, Brewer, Hampden, Old Town, Orono, the University of Maine (Orono), and Veazie. This project looks at how the existing Community Connector system can be changed to better meet community needs. In the context of this project, the bus network, schedules, fares, fleet, technologies, policies, and processes will be reviewed.
The current bus system has been generally unchanged since the Community Connector’s inception and residents of the Greater Bangor Urbanized Area want better transit service. This project will result in short-range and long-range strategic plans aimed at improving operational efficiency, ultimately leading to user benefits such as enhanced bus reliability, shorter travel times, and more.
If you are interested in providing feedback, please let us know: [email protected]
In February, we met with stakeholders, community members, and held several public meetings across Bangor. We also conducted an online survey of bus riders and non-riders. We heard that buses are not frequent enough and that buses do not operate late enough to be convenient. Customers are requesting that buses operate later into the evening.
Based on our analyses of the transit market, much of the service area of the Community Connector is low-density and with separated land uses, meaning that typically, people need to travel long distances to shopping or other opportunities that favor car trips. While transit can serve some of these trips, some of the productivity and effectiveness of transit is eroded by low-density sprawl. Nevertheless, some sociodemographic characteristics are favorable to transit use, including the concentration of older adults as well as students in the service area.
Of the routes operated, Capehart, Old Town, and Hammond carry nearly 45% of all weekday ridership. The least used routes are Hampden and Mall Hopper. In terms of productivity, that is, riders carried per hour of service, Hammond and Stillwater perform best, while Mall Hopper and Hampden perform the worst.
We are currently finalizing an existing conditions report that will help us identify gaps, challenges, and opportunities to improve service based on the public’s input, our analyses, and best practices.