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July 29, 2019

Presque Isle to launch bus service pilot

Courtesy / City of Presque Isle Presque Isle on Oct. 15 will launch a bus service offering fixed stops throughout the city.

Presque Isle is launching a new local bus service this fall and organizers say it will provide a boost to the local economy.

The PI Loop will be a continuous bus route with fixed stops throughout Presque Isle, according to a news release last week from the Aroostook County Action Program Inc.

The program, along with the Aroostook Regional Transportation System, began developing plans for the service last year through a grant from the Maine Community Foundation. Details of the service aren’t yet determined, but it will probably include at least 15 stops and run seven days a week, according to ACAP. The service will initially launch as a four-month pilot, operated by ARTS.

The organizers hope the loop will eventually be part of a transit network, which they’ve dubbed Going Places.

“By creating The PI Loop, we are not only assisting those without a driver’s license or vehicle, we are creating opportunities for employers, employees, students, and families that simply did not exist before,” said LeRae Kinney, who co-chairs Going Places and is director of adult and community education at School Administrative District No. 1. “This bus route will change lives.”

Lack of transportation services was cited as the top concern of the nearly 1,000 Aroostook County residents who participated in a recent ACAP community study — ranking even ahead of substance use. Currently, ARTS provides limited bus service to and around Presque Isle, but the trips require reservations.

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