If you build it, they will come. At least that's what Onsite Project Manager of Maine Street Station (MSS) Mike Lyne said he is hoping. Along with being Amtrak's port of entry into Brunswick—a train service is scheduled to begin in early 2012—the station currently offers access to the Maine Eastern train and the Brunswick Explorer, and has recently merged all of Concord Coach's previous Brunswick-area stops into one location.
"The thought is to have all transportation related activities for Brunswick consolidated into one location," said Lyne. The station has also altered both the Concord Coach's ticketing process and its bus route.
"Tickets can [now] be purchased online, or at the Visitor Center on a first come, first-served, basis.
"On the busy Bowdoin travel breaks, they will run more buses and also add the stop back on campus," said Lyne.
Students, however, remain largely focused on the prospect of an Amtrak stop and transportation options closer to campus rather than the options of MSS.
"I'm really excited about [Amtrak], it's going to be...a lot more convenient and just a lot faster. It's going to connect the big city to small town Maine, even more than what we currently have, which is nice," said Laura Connolly '11.
Primitivo Garza '12 agreed.
"Just for like a fun trip down to Boston, it would be good if it was open now," he said.
Zipcar and the Bowdoin Shuttle were also mentioned among the transportation options for students.
"The Zipcars, they're really good," said Zoe Harran '11. "My freshman year they didn't have Zipcars, so it was...a really great addition."
Nonetheless, there were concerns about the car rental company.
"Zipcars are pretty convenient for students although...friends who will use them to get stuff out of storage...say only having two on campus makes it really difficult because it's so busy. When everybody's moving back on the same one or two days, it gets really crazy trying to get an actual time to get the car or truck to go to storage," said Connolly.
Senior Vice President for Finance and Administration & Treasurer Katy Longley said, "Last year, we eliminated first year cars and added more vans and routes to the Bowdoin Shuttle."
The addition has led to a positive response from students.
"Safe Ride is really great, I can't think of a better system in place at Bowdoin for safety," said Harran.
"I used to use it a lot when I took my photography class. I would take it down to [McLellan]. I would go there at like 2 a.m. and I would take it back [to] campus. It was awesome," said Garza.
The Brunswick Explorer, a new local public bus, is another transportation option.
"This year, the...Explorer launched a local route from Cook's Corner to Maine Street...[and] also has stops at the two local hospitals. So students don't need to call Security for routine appointments," said Longley.
Yet there are complaints about the lack of publicity given to these different options.
"I haven't used it, and neither have my friends. I don't know exactly how it work[s] or where the stop is...people just don't know because they don't see it, or they don't know where to find the information," said Garza.
According to Longley, though, the College is committed to expanding transportation options for students.
"The College and the Brunswick community are committed to increasing the number of transportation options available, and have made significant progress over the past several years," said Longley.
Lyne, echoed her sentiment, saying, "For a community of this size, and this far north, Brunswick has an extraordinarily progressive transportation system...there is a fabulous local taxi service, a new local bus service, Zipcars at Bowdoin, and car rentals coming to Maine Street Station [and] when Amtrak arrives we will have that rail link to Portland, Boston and beyond."