METRO and South Portland Bus Service Introduce Regional Pass | News

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METRO and South Portland Bus Service Introduce Regional Pass

Beginning in May, Greater Portland Transit District (METRO) and the South Portland Bus Service will offer a Regional Monthly Bus Pass, allowing seamless and affordable travel on both bus systems. The new pass will be sold for $45 per month for travel throughout Portland, South Portland, Westbrook and Falmouth.

Creating a regional pass was a priority recommendation of a Regional Coordination Study developed by the Portland Area Comprehensive Transportation System (PACTS) in 2007 as part of an effort “to identify opportunities to increase efficiencies of transit operations within Greater Portland and to work toward the development of one regional transportation system.”

South Portland resident Melanie Bruce said the Regional Pass is an excellent idea. “I take both buses and had been wishing for this type of pass.”

The Regional Transit Guide, another priority recommendation from the study, was introduced in September 2009 and features route maps, time schedules and fare rates for area transit providers. The Regional Guide is updated each year in January, May and September.

"This is an excellent example of how South Portland residents are better served through regional cooperation.  This is a customer-focused, service improvement that broadens the accessibility of public transportation.  This new monthly regional bus pass will make it very convenient for residents throughout greater Portland to travel on public transportation,” says South Portland City Councilor Patti Smith.  “Since the cost of gasoline has been rising, coupled with tight family budgets, the timing is right to evaluate and consider the benefits of public transportation.  Compared to many transportation alternatives, public transportation is a reliable, cost effective way to travel.  Not only can it be less expensive, but you are also contributing to an improved environment and helping to reduce our country's dependence on foreign oil."

The METRO Monthly Pass, which had sold for $40, will no longer be available. The new Regional Monthly Bus Pass will be sold for $45 and provide access to both METRO and South Portland Bus Service routes. Both systems will continue to offer TenRide tickets and other fare options, including a Summer Youth Bus Pass, which was introduced in 2006 for children and teens ages 18 and younger to travel on both bus systems during the summer. Free transfers will also be available between the two systems for passengers using other fare options.

The new Regional Bus Pass will allow ridership access on eight METRO routes and three South Portland routes.  Bus riders can now travel throughout Portland, South Portland, Westbrook and Falmouth with one monthly regional pass.  Bus routes also include intermodal connections to Amtrak/Downeaster, Concord Coach,  Greyhound Bus, Casco Bay Ferry, Portland Jetport and ZOOM/ShuttleBus.

METRO and South Portland Bus Service transfer points are located at the Maine Mall in South Portland and several stops along Congress Street, including the bus shelter at Monument Square. 

"This is a great opportunity for us to improve customer service within Greater Portland's public transportation system and allows our monthly pass users to travel seamlessly between both systems," says Michael Foley, METRO board president and Westbrook City Councilor.

Regional Monthly Passes and  TenRide tickets will be sold at Portland, South Portland and Westbrook City Halls, the METRO Pulse at Elm Street in Portland, METRO office at 114 Valley Street, Casco Bay Ferry Terminal and at participating Shaw’s  and Hannaford supermarkets along bus routes. For additional information:
METRO Bus – http://www.gpmetrobus.com/ or call 207-774-0351 South Portland Bus – http://www.southportland.org/ or call 207-767-5556

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