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Bangor transit final report is out

The city of Bangor hired transportation consulting company Stantec to analyze the way the city's Community Connector is run. The final report is out.

BANGOR, Maine — The report is out.

After almost a year of research and meetings, a consulting company hired by the city of Bangor is releasing its final report.

All the information in the report is just a suggestion for the city, but many members of the community are excited about what could be coming.

"We're really excited about the report and we're looking forward to seeing the suggestions in the report be implemented," Darcy Cooke with Transportation for All said.

Stantec was hired by the city of Bangor for $100,000. Consultants will present their findings on Monday night's city council meeting and it will be up to the Community Connector and the city of Bangor how they decide to implement the suggestions.

"Transportation evolves like anything else, and if you don't evolve with the changing times and what people's habits are, you become stale as well," Bangor Community Connector Superintendent Laurie Linscott said. "Millenniums don't carry wallets they carry phones, you know so we had to tap into that."

Members of a Bangor area group called Transportation for All went to Portland to see how its bus system runs. They noticed more technology.

The city of Portland says about three years ago the Metro added a real-time bus arrival tracker and a transit app. City officials in Portland also say there are numbers at all the bus stops that you can text. By texting that number, you get a response telling you how long your wait is. By the end of 2020, all the buses will also have voices on the bus announcing the next stop. As of now, only six of the buses have that.

"Every city's different. Every city has different needs," Cooke said.

Here in Bangor, more technology could be coming soon.

But the goal is to make it easier for anyone interested in riding the Community Connector to do so in the meantime.

"There's a lot of people right now that would ride the bus. You know people that are concerned about climate change that want to see the city grow in a smart way and public transit is a really big part of that but it's just really kind of inconvenient to use right now," Cooke said.

So now the real work begins for the city of Bangor to decide what the next chapter for the Community Connector is. 

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