Augusta to look into starting trolley-bus from State House to downtown – Maine News

Augusta to look into starting trolley-bus from State House to downtown – Maine News

AUGUSTA — Ward 4 City Councilor Anna Blodgett wants the city to consider a trolley-style bus service that would connect state workers to the downtown and other places, allowing them to grab lunch or do some shopping without getting in their cars.

Blodgett said she’d like the city to consider, as part of the upcoming process of putting together next year’s city budget, purchasing something like a lightly-used 32-passenger trolley-style bus to run on a continuous loop with stops including the State House office complex, other state office buildings, the downtown area and locations such as Lithgow Public Library. She said it would help address a lack of public transportation in the city and encourage state workers to dine and shop downtown and at other sites in Augusta instead of staying in their offices or driving to neighboring Hallowell for lunch. She suggested seeing if the state would join the city as a partner in funding such a service, which could also charge a small fare for each ride given.

Other councilors also expressed interest and said state office workers and others doing business with the state, especially when the Legislature is in session and parking is tight, could be a captive audience tempted to use such a service.

“I think it’s a wonderful idea,” said Ward 1 Councilor Linda Conti, an assistant attorney general who works at the State House complex. She said fellow state office workers “talk about how there are almost no places to go to eat within walking distance. And this time of year nobody wants to give up their parking space. If you leave, you may have to park miles away when you…

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