(Portland, Maine) Taxpaying bus companies want to know if USM students are happy, or not, with the impending loss of a shuttle service that provides direct, non-stop service between Gorham and Portland.
Another direct blow to USM students will be the loss of shuttle exclusivity, a valued safety net that has been a key feature of the existing shuttle service for many years.
“The feedback we get is that students do not want any stops that lengthen their commute as they travel between Portland and Gorham,” said Mark Robinson, a spokesman for Taxpayers for Wise Transit Spending (www.WiseTransitME.org).
“Further, we know they feel very safe and secure on the existing shuttle, because only USM students can use it. With a switch to Metro, the general public will ride along. The potential problems and uncomfortable scenarios that this change may encourage are very easy for students, and their parents, to imagine."
A deal announced in August between Metro and USM would do away with a direct shuttle and its exclusivity, and saddle taxpayers with millions in new and unnecessary costs. Robinson said the bus companies are soliciting direct feedback from USM students via the email address WiseTransitME@gmail.com.
“Let’s hear what students have to say about losing these benefits, without the filter of a USM spokesman blocking out dissent," Robinson said. "Their opinions are what matter, not the corporate spin from the USM president or Metro's executive director. What do the students actually want?"
Taxpayers for Wise Transit Spending (www.WiseTransitME.org) is an alliance of bus and motorcoach companies based in the state of Maine. Its members are decades-old family businesses, and each pays significant local, state and federal taxes. The alliance has the strong support of the American Bus Association, the United Motorcoach Association, the New England Bus Association and the Business Coalition for Fair Competition.