Brunswick town officials are exploring the possibility of adding a commuter bus service between Portland and Brunswick. Preliminary discussions took place in mid-November. According to the Portland Press Herald, the addition of this service to Brunswick would build upon Portland METRO plans to expand service farther up the coast next summer.

However, this pilot program has not received grant funding for expansion to Brunswick, with funds given towards new routes to Freeport and Yarmouth instead. If the service were to be extended to Brunswick, the town would be responsible for the cost of the addition, which is estimated to be approximately $200,000 per year, according to a document shared at the November 17 town meeting.

Senior Vice President for Finance and Administration and Treasurer Katy Longley said that the College met with Town Manager John Eldridge last month and was informed that discussions were taking place regarding the bus service. 

Although the College has not been directly involved in these discussions, Longley said that the bus service could be very attractive to both employees who commute to campus and to students.

“We would be very interested to see this service become available,” she said. 

According to Chair of the Brunswick Town Council Benet Pols, the town’s discussions with METRO officials are in the early stages. 

“Historically, there are parking problems around the College’s campus that make it in the College’s interest to have the students have access to public transit either around town or to get out of town if they want to,” Pols said. 

“I think that, for a variety of reasons, taking steps to extend the network of public transportation in southern Maine is a positive action,” said Emma Moesswilde ’18. “Not only is this commitment valuable for the town of Brunswick, but it makes a statement to Maine as a whole that infrastructure needs to be reorganized in an environmentally and economically friendly way for maximum progress.”

Helen Ross ’18 said she would likely utilize the extended bus service.

“I would definitely be more inclined to take advantage of our proximity to Portland if I didn’t have to rely on the inconvenient timetable of the Downeaster,” she said.

Pols said that the Town Council is scheduled to meet with METRO representatives today to discuss a more formal proposal.