SUN JOURNAL: Lewiston bus company is one of four to question Portland Metro-USM deal

A coalition of four Maine bus firms has accused Portland Metro of using taxpayer subsidies to undercut private companies interested in providing a university student shuttle service.

Criticism is focused on a deal between Metro and the University of Southern Maine to provide a transit pass program for students and staff. The arrangement is part of Metro’s $4.5 million Transit West project, a major expansion that includes new bus service between Portland and Gorham. It is planned to launch in 2018.

On Tuesday, opponents of the plan unveiled Taxpayers for Wise Transit Spending, a campaign to pressure USM to cancel its contract with Metro and consider student shuttle bids from private companies.