- Inside Metro
- METRO Projects and Initiatives
- Transit Together - Route and Schedule Changes
- Proposed Route Changes in Westbrook
Proposed Route Changes in Westbrook
Transit Together proposes several changes to service in Westbrook that will improve headways and schedule clarity.
Proposed Route Changes
Removal of Route 2 service from Pride's Corner
About half of Route 2 trips serve the Pride's Corner area of Westbrook, utilizing East Bridge Street, Pride Street, and Bridgton Road to create a loop with over a dozen bus stops. This loop adds about 7 to 10 minutes of runtime to the Route 2's round trip. Total ridership in this neighborhood was about 3,170 in 2022; approximately 2.3% of the Route 2's ridership, or about 4 trips per hour of service to the area. As a whole, Route 2 had about 15 trips per hour of service in 2022, indicating that Pride's Corner service generates significantly less ridership than the rest of the Route 2. The added time required to serve Pride's Corner creates the need for uneven headways and irregular schedules for the route. Removal of service in Pride's Corner allows travel time to be reallocated to the rest of the route.
Simplifying Route 4 schedules
The current schedule for Route 4 has six different variations, or "patterns", on weekdays. Service runs to Bradley Drive, or to Hamlet Park, or to Westbrook Hub; in each case, about half of trips also run to Hannaford off of William Clarke Drive. This results in a schedule that is difficult to read and understand, and even more difficult to predict; with six patterns, we are unable to create a schedule that is predictable from hour to hour. Transit Together recommends simplifying these patterns. METRO is planning to cut back from six patterns in each direction to two. About half of trips will service Hamlet Park via Hannaford, and the other half will service Bradley Drive and skip Hannaford. This would be the case in both directions. Some trips may terminate at Westbrook Hub, particularly on weekends -- in these cases, METRO will aim to continue to serve Hannaford about every other trip.
Extension to the Eastern Waterfront
Aside from the Route 8, METRO does not currently run any transit service south of Congress Street, despite the Old Port's abundance of jobs, entertainment, and shopping destinations. Casco Bay Lines is served by the Route 8, but island residents and visitors currently need to transfer or walk to Congress Street in order to access the rest of the METRO network. Extending Routes 2, 4, and the Husky Line to the Eastern Waterfront vastly improves METRO's reach in the Old Port, connects to new developments along Thames Street, and provides additional connections for ferry boat and cruise ship passengers.
Benefits of Recommended Route Changes
Routes 2 and 4 will have improved schedules as a result of reducing the number of travel patterns on each route. Schedules will be easier to read and predict. Route 2 will run one pattern on 100% of trips; passengers will not need to consult a schedule to know their outbound bus is going to Hannaford in Riverton. Similarly, Route 4's schedule will have a much more manageable number of patterns, making it easier to plan trips.
Expanded coverage area
The recommended extensions of the Husky Line, Route 2, and Route 4 will improve METRO's reach into the Old Port, providing a one-seat trip for residents of Gorham, Westbrook, and Portland's off-peninsula neighborhoods. METRO will be a highly visible option for tourists on Commercial Street as well as cruise ship passengers making ports-of-call in Portland.
Improved multi-modal connections
Extensions of the Husky Line, Route 2, and Route 4 services will significantly improve service to Casco Bay Lines passengers, reducing the parking strain in the waterfront neighborhoods in Portland and providing an alternative to expensive parking lots for visitors of the Casco Bay islands.
Possible Drawbacks of Recommended Route Changes
Loss of service in Pride's Corner area of Westbrook
Elimination of service to Pride's Corner would make using transit a challenge for residents of the Pride's Corner neighborhood in Westbrook. Elimination of any service is never taken lightly. METRO is exploring other options, including providing more dynamic service with on-demand transit vehicles ("microtransit") in the future.
Reduction in weekend service frequency on Husky Line
The extension of the Husky Line to the Eastern Waterfront adds travel time to the round trip of each route that is being extended. On weekdays, an additional bus will be deployed to ensure that all trips continue to run as scheduled. On weekends, it is most likely that the current 45-minute headways on the Husky Line will be reduced to 60 minutes.
No extended stops/layovers at Pulse
As a result of the extensions to the Eastern Waterfront, the Husky Line, Route 2, and Route 4 will no longer stop in front of the METRO Pulse office on Elm Street. These routes will stop nearby on Congress Street.
Changes to specific trips
Simplification of service patterns on Route 4 may make certain trips less convenient, particularly trips between Hannaford and Bradley Drive. METRO does not foresee a significant demand for this trip. Currently, only two weekday inbound and four outbound trips run between Hannaford and Bradley Drive.
Existing and Recommended Service Maps
See below for existing and recommended service maps. Note that only routes serving Westbrook are shown for clarity.