Portland Green Streets Calendar
As always, please check out the Portland Green Streets Calendar for exciting upcoming transportation-related events in Greater Portland.
Back to School Specials from METRO
Ride FREE with ID from participating colleges August 23 – September 30, 2010. (After September, several colleges continue to offer FREE or discounted transportation.)
Discounted Student Fares (K-12): Beginning in September through mid-June 2011, students can ride METRO buses for 75 cents (regular student fare is $1.25) using a METRO Student Fare Card, available at participating schools in Portland, Westbrook and Falmouth.
For a list of participating schools/colleges, schedules and additional information, visit www.gpmetrobus.com (Services and Programs) or call 774-0351.
DUE BY Oct 25 - Healthy Youth Powerful Youth Mini-Grant
A great grant that can be pair with Active Transportation work – Healthy Portland and Healthy Casco Bay are excited to announce the availability of four mini-grants of up to $1,500 each for initiatives that support healthy youth who live, learn, and play in these two HMP regions. Fundable projects must include one tobacco-free living objective that addresses an environmental or policy change in your community to reduce tobacco use by youth. Sample programs include:
- Implementing a NO BUTS! program.
- Implementing a Star Store program.
- Increasing the number of tobacco-free recreation areas in your region (i.e., tobacco-free parks, playgrounds, local beaches, and athletic fields).
- Promoting tobacco-free school grounds (state law).
- Promoting tobacco-free dining (indoor and outdoor) or state beaches (state laws).
Additionally, the project must include at least one more objective on preventing underage drinking, encouraging better nutrition, or promoting physical activity for a total of at least two objectives. For more information see application.
October 6/Full Month of October – International Walk & Bike to School Day & Month
Join kids and families around the globe to walk and bike to school in October! In the USA, celebrate Walk and Bike to School Day on October 6, 2010 – or pick another day this fall that works best for your school to celebrate. And promote safe walking and bicycling throughout the year! Find out how to organize an event, register and order materials, and get other technical assistance from the Maine Safe Routes to School Program. See some inspiration from schools around the state last spring.
Bring Bicycle-Pedestrian Safety Education to Your Local School
Please encourage your local school(s) to arrange for a free presentation on bicycle and pedestrian safety by the Bicycle Coalition of Maine. The Coalition’s trained instructors will teach students the basics of commuting to school safely by bike and foot. For more information, please contact Jim Tasse, the coalition’s education director.
AMTRAK Downeaster – College 6Tix Returns This Fall
Get smart this semester. Purchase a College 6TIX pass and get six one-way trips on the Amtrak Downeaster for just $76. With up to 50% off the regular fare, it’s a no brainier.
Comfortable, Convenient and Money-Saving Vanpool Seats Available NowComfortable, Convenient and Money-Saving Vanpools Available Now
Some of Go Maine’s vanpool routes have immediate seat openings. Maybe there’s one that’ll fit your commute:
- Van 22 – Portland/Yarmouth to Augusta (North)
- Van 33 – Topsham to Augusta (East)
- Van 34 – Augusta/Gardiner to Portland (in-town)
- Van 35 – Topsham to Augusta (North)
- Van 42 – Farmington to Augusta
- Van 44 – Lewiston to Portland (outer Congress St./Jetport/UNUM area)
- Van 45 – Auburn to Portland (in-town)
- Van 48 – Newport – Augusta (Capitol area)
- Van 51 – Bangor to Augusta (Capitol area)
- Van 53 – Yarmouth/Freeport to Augusta (Capital area)
Riding a commuter vanpool is inexpensive, stress-free and eco-friendly. Check with GO MAINE for complete information on commuter vanpools.
Make Your Voice Heard on MaineDOT’s Draft Local Cost Sharing Policy
In an effort to develop a uniform and equitable policy for sharing the cost of major improvements to the state highway system, MaineDOT has drafted a new local cost sharing policy. This policy also addresses the cost sharing for new sidewalks as part of road and bridge major projects. A notice of this recently went out to all municipalities as part of Maine DOT’s Bureau Newsletter. This draft policy shows MaineDOT paying for the full federal share of sidewalks (80% MaineDOT, 20% Local) in qualifying areas. This is the same match requirement for MaineDOT’s Quality Community Program stand alone projects with Transportation Enhancement Funding. With Bridges, because of their size and costs, MaineDOT will be responsible for the entire cost of the sidewalks in a qualifying area where there is a sidewalk planned or currently connected to the bridge. Local cost shares may be reduced or waived in accordance with the rule implementing Maine ’s Sensible Transportation Policy Act, 17-229 CMR Chapter 103, subchapter III, section 3. Please review and make comments at Local Cost Sharing Policy (Draft 8-9-10) – Comment Form – Submit comments about this draft policy
Employers – Check Out METRO’s Bus Incentive Program for Employees
The METRO Bus is introducing an incentive program that encourages Maine employees to choose transit instead of driving to work. They are offering employers fully or partially subsidized monthly passes to their employees. By not driving, you can save hundreds of dollars per year…extra money that you can use for mortgage payments, college tuition, vacations, or anything you want. Whether you have five employees or over 5,000 employees, it just makes good business sense to participate. This transit benefit not only encourages employees to use public transit to commute to work, it also reduces the need for available employee parking and helps reduce traffic congestion and air pollution. Now there are incentives to make participating in METRO’s plan an even better deal for employers and their employees.
- Tax Savings
- Promote “Green” Transportation
- Save $$
- Free up valuable parking spaces
Bike Commuter Education Program on the Move
The Bike Commuter Education Program, a joint effort of GO MAINE, the Bicycle Coalition of Maine and MaineDOT, is off and running. Or should we say off and riding? And they can come to your workplace too.
The new bike commuter program is designed to assist businesses that want to promote cycling within their organization and help the cyclists who want to commute by bike, and it’s all FREE.
To support businesses, the program offers guidance on creating a bicycle friendly culture in an organization, understanding the needs of a cyclist who rides to and from work, and outlining what facilities a cyclist would typically want at the workplace. While having all the facilities like showers and lockers is nice, it’s not a deal breaker. When an organization understands the cyclist’s perspective, many different options are possible. This program offers that type of guidance to businesses.
To support the cyclist, the program offers on-site training seminars by qualified cycling instructors. These sessions are adapted to the time available to employees during the day or scheduled after hours, at the business’ and employees’ convenience. Through these, existing or would-be cyclists can learn the realities of cycling to and from work and the hard skills that go with it. Topics include setting realistic goals, managing a work out on your way to work, bikes and other equipment, riding techniques, route selection, night riding, and general traffic safety. These classes are taught by instructors who speak from experience and are trained in safe cycling practices. Classes are for novice to intermediate cyclists of all ages.
For more information about the program and to schedule a visit to your place of business, please contact Erik West at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 207-774-9891.
Maine Alliance for Sustainable Transportation (MaST) has Launched New Website
The Maine Alliance for Sustainable Transportation (MaST) – of which Portland Green Streets is a member – has officially launched our new website! MaST was spearheaded by the League and has some great groups working to increase access to affordable, reliable and sustainable transportation option. Check MaST out and find out how you can get involved!
We all know about the problem of poor access to many bus stops during the winter. Robert Wagner, a long-time advocate for transportation improvements, is the volunteer coordinator for an effort to organize volunteers to agree to keep specific bus stop locations in Portland and South Portland clear of snow, etc., for a period of a year. He hasn’t had many takers so far, but this sure sounds like a way for us to help where no one else is dealing with the problem. Check the website: www.Adopt-A-Stop.org or call him at (207) 408-4404.
Cool Apps to Help with Your Commute
Smartphones offer a growing number of apps that can enhance your commute, whether you’re on two wheels, four wheels or public transit. After some field testing, we’ve put together a list of applications that every Smartphone wielding road warrior should download immediately: Go to Smartphone Apps info at Go Maine site
Keep Up with Veteran’s Bridge Progress
Since groundbreaking in June this year, construction crews have had a busy summer – see here for more information about the bridge’s progress and bicycle and pedestrian accommodation.
Bicycle Coalition of Maine Receives $18,000 Grant for Advocacy Program
Augusta The Alliance for Biking & Walking in Washington, D.C. has awarded
an $18,000 grant to the Bicycle Coalition of Maine for its Community Spokes
Program. The program will recruit and train rural citizen-advocates to work
for local improvements in bicycle and pedestrian infrastructure as well as
state policies that encourage bicycling and walking.
“To successfully engage the many villages and small towns in Maine, we need
trained advocates who are rooted in their own communities,” said Allison
Vogt, the Bicycle Coalition’s executive director. “By increasing our
grassroots muscle in local communities, we also will have a bigger impact on
The Alliance, a coalition of more than 160 grassroots biking and walking
advocacy organizations in North America, awarded four grants to projects
throughout the United States. The Bicycle Coalition of Maine project will
serve as a model for rural communities facing challenges with capacity,
funding and infrastructure for bicycle and pedestrian improvements.
Maine PIRG Students Organizing for Federal Rail Funding
Learn more about Maine Public Interest Resource Group students who are organizing on transit issues.