GreenLine officially opens

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A small crowd gathered in Auburn Wednesday afternoon for the official opening of the GreenLine.

FARMINGTON – A new bus line provided by Western Maine Transportation Services will now help get customers from Farmington to Auburn, with multiple stops along the way.

The “GreenLine” will run Monday through Friday with four roundtrip routes each day.

The commuter service was established based on the results of a survey done in 2017 addressing the most needed and desired routes. WMTS General Manager Sandy Buchanan said there were two routes that were identified as the most needed and wanted based on the survey: Route 4 from Farmington to Auburn and a route between Lewiston and Brunswick. Buchanan said the recent closing of Barclays in Wilton brought them to choosing the Route 4 option.

“Being from rural Maine, I know that when you lose a big employer it has a big effect on the surrounding community,” Buchanan said at a small opening ceremony on Wednesday.

The new line will offer transportation to those seeking new jobs, she said, as well as others who may need to get to health appointments, higher education, job training or for tourism purposes.

“We are very anxious to bring as much value to the residents of Franklin County as we can,” Community Relation Director Craig Zurhorst said.

While WMTS will still offer discounted and free rides to those who are in need, fares will be $3 within either Franklin or Androscoggin Counties, or $5 between counties, each way. The GreenLine bus will offer free on-board Wi-Fi, a bike rack in-season, and will take credit, debit and WMTS SmartCommute cards, as well as Apple, Samsung and Android Pay mobile apps for payment. Exact change is also accepted.

This is the first time in more than 50 years that a regular bus route has been established along Route 4, and Buchanan reported that within three years the bus is projected to make 20,000 trips per year.

“We’re looking forward to helping Mainers get to where they’re going,” Maine Department of Labor Commissioner Laura Fortman said to the crowd.

A detailed list of pick up and drop off locations can be found by clicking here.

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