The Maine DOT posted to Facebook last week advertising a live presentation about the development of a rail plan for the State of Maine.

The post mentions a virtual public meeting that will take place Wednesday, March 15th about the Maine State Rail Plan, a meeting that will give thoughts on expansion on the existing rail service by the Maine DOT and transportation specialists, Cambridge Systematics. Viewers can watch the presentation than are given a question and answer time during the event.

This two-hour event will take place on Zoom starting at 6 PM and requires preregistering for the meeting in order to attend.

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Mainers respond to the MaineDOT post

The comments that followed the post, however, show that Mainers are very eager to get the conversation started. The comments include the need for the State of Maine to steer away from traditional gas-reliant transportation, how mass transportation should be a more economical resolution, how adding a rail expansion should add jobs and accessibility. In the end, many comments were showing support for increase and expansion of rail use in Maine.

Here is what people commented on what they would like to see for the rail system:

  • A train from Portland to Lewiston
  • Service from and to Bangor, perhaps up to Houlton
  • Rail service up to Orono, up to UMO
  • Rockland and Bangor with passenger service
  • Freight and passenger trains
  • Rail up to Augusta
  • Passenger service up to Fort Kent or Madawaska

A timely conversation

While climate change and climate change intervention are at the forefront of adding mass transit to the State of Maine and across the nation, what is perhaps making this conversation even more relevant is the cost of gas prices right now as a war is waged in Eastern Europe.

Mainers have seen a one-dollar increase in a gallon of gas each month since the start of 2022. As of publishing, gas here in the State of Maine is averaging $4.26 per gallon, according to AAA. Last month our average cost was $3.49 per gallon. A year ago, Maine saw average costs per gallon at $2.89.

Perhaps this spike in the cost of gas will hit home for Mainers that alternatives need to be considered sooner rather than later.

See more about the live Zoom event on the Maine DOT website.

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