- Inside Metro
- METRO Projects and Initiatives
- Transit Together - Route and Schedule Changes
- Proposed Route Changes near Maine Mall, Portland Jetport, Thompson's Point, and Mercy Hospital
Proposed Route Changes near Maine Mall, Portland Jetport, Thompson's Point, and Mercy Hospital
Transit Together proposes route extensions and optimizations that would change how passengers access Portland Jetport, Thompson's Point, and Mercy Hospital.
Proposed Route Changes
Serve the Jetport with Route 1 instead of Route 5
Transit Together recommends extending Route 1 service to the Portland Municipal Jetport ("the Jetport"), via outer Congress Street and Skyway Drive (for some, possibly all, trips) and Jetport Boulevard. Service would be removed from the Thompson's Point stop, but METRO hopes to continue service to the Portland Transportation Center (PTC) stops. Alternatively, Route 1 service would not serve PTC directly, but Route 1 passengers would still be able to access PTC by walking along Sewall Street. Route 1 would no longer serve St. John Street or Fore River Parkway, including Mercy Hospital.
Run Route 5 directly to the Maine Mall
Running Route 1 to the Jetport would allow METRO to remove Route 5 service from the Jetport, including the Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) office and all other destinations currently served along Jetport Boulevard and International Way. Route 5 would instead run directly between downtown Portland and the Maine Mall on each trip.
Extend Route 7 to Thompson's Point
Transit Together recommends extending Route 7 service from Elm Street to Thompson's Point via Congress Street, St. John Street, and Fore River Parkway, mimicking Route 1's current alignment. This would replace direct service to Mercy Hospital and Thompson's Point that would be removed from Route 1 service.
Benefits of Recommended Route Changes
Improved service to the Jetport
Current service to the Jetport is uneven throughout the day, and averages less than one trip per hour per direction. Establishing the Jetport as a terminus stop for the Route 1, rather than a mid-route deviation on the Route 5, will result in less unnecessary travel time for passengers who are not destined for the Jetport or other destinations in the area, while providing a predictable schedule for Jetport-area employees and travelers to use the bus to access the area.
Faster service to Maine Mall
Most Route 5 passengers travel between downtown Portland and the Maine Mall. Most Route 5 trips, however, deviate toward Hutchins Drive or to the Jetport, adding additional travel time for these passengers. These deviations also make it difficult for the Route 5 to run on time, particularly during peak periods. Direct service between downtown Portland and the Mall will improve on-time performance of the route, and reduce travel times for passengers.
More service along Congress Street, with no reduction in service coverage
Extending the Route 7 from downtown Portland to Thompson's Point not only replaces service that would be removed from the Route 1, but it also provides more service along Congress Street, improving access to Congress Square, Longfellow Square, and the Maine Medical Center (MMC) area. Passengers looking to travel between Washington Avenue and the West End will be able to board Route 1, Route 7, or Route 9. Extending Route 7 also provides one-seat rides between Falmouth Village, the MMC area, and Thompson's Point.
Possible Drawbacks of Recommended Route Changes
Changes to specific trips
The drawbacks of the proposed route changes in the vicinity of Maine Mall, the Jetport, and Thompson's Point are limited to specific trips. While some passengers may enjoy one-seat trips between Munjoy Hill and Thompson's Point on Route 1, for example, this trip would become a two-seat trip (connecting to Route 7) or walking from Congress Street via Sewell Street to complete the trip.
Frequency Reduction on Route 1
Transit Together recommends extending Route 1 service to the Jetport without additional buses running along the route. As a result, frequency would drop from every 30 minutes to every 45 minutes, along the whole route, Sunday through Saturday, from start to end of service. This represents a net reduction in service along the route. METRO hopes to improve this frequency to every 30 minutes in the near future.
Existing and Recommended Service Maps
See below for existing and recommended service maps. Note that some routes are not shown for the sake of clarity.