Friday, November 14, 2014

The wheels on a bus go blank blank blank…

Explore Maine by Bus

You may remember that a few months ago, in this post:

we mentioned emerging discussions about Metro Bus service running from Portland north to Freeport, with a number of stops in between.

We speculated that the very thought of such service could easily cause hyperventilation, or worse, by our favorite Downeaster supporters, the Brunswick Bobbsey Twins:


As Phate would have it, Chance led us to discover a related new development that could, prepare yourselves, reach as far north as BRUNSWICK!!  Shirley, the very thought of such a possibility must cause palpitations of the most troublesome sort among the choo choo chognoscenti (sick.)

In readying ourselves for a brief statement to the town council this coming Monday, we discovered that the agenda includes this item:

135. The Town Council will discuss the possibility of the Greater Portland METRO Bus providing commuter rides to and from Brunswick, and will determine if any future action is needed. (Chair Pols)

You’ll find the agenda and the associated ‘packet’ with detailed backup info here:

Once you open that document, go to page 64 and the pages that follow, and you’ll find all the exciting details.  Including the fact that without ‘free money’ from elsewhere, the service could cost Brunswick (we taxpayers) $200,000 a year, or about $4,000 per week.

That may sound like a lot, but as you know from being a loyal reader, that’s roughly the amount we suspect Amtrak pays Brunswick Taxi for shuttling crews back and forth between Brunswick and Portland twice a day.  Peanuts, that is, among the governing class.  Come to think of it, why hasn’t Brunswick Taxi submitted a proposal of their own?  BDC stands ready, we assume, to provide whatever ‘seed capital’ is required to make the dream come true.

Note when you read the material how carefully everyone tip-toes around the issue of possibly competing with the Downeaster.  We wouldn’t want market demand and competition to enter into the equation, would we?  Better we should let our betters decide how to serve us, than we ourselves.


On the other hand, it’s just a damn bus, for guards sake!

As for us, we immediately take off on flights of fancy when such news surfaces.  Taxpayers are already subsidizing the Downeaster (and Amtrak overall) with vast sums on an annual basis.  NNEPRA’s service alone runs at an operating loss of around $8 million per year.

Under the circumstances, we wonder why the town council isn’t considering $4,000 in weekly subsidies for the gasoline costs of residents.  Or perhaps the construction of a municipally operated carwash to service resident’s vehicles, with a subsidy of the same amount.  We’d really appreciate $2 weekly car washes, courtesy of our benevolent overseers.  Shirley that’s a worthy benefit of choosing to live here in the wealthiest little town in America?  We’d even be willing to drop off our pay per bag trash at the carwash, to save the cost of picking it up.  Synergy; we’re all over it.

We look forward to great frugality and perspicacity being displayed in Monday’s discussion; it’s our right.

Just like $2 car washes and having someone else pay for most of our train or bus ride are our right.



By the way, the smoking lamp will not be lit at the council meeting, or on board the transit service, no matter who makes THEIR wheels go round with YOUR money.

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