On March 31, 2015, the Bicycle Coalition of Maine provided testimony before the Maine State Legislature’s Joint Standing Committee on Transportation in support of two bills that would improve transit and public transportation in Maine.
Testimony in SUPPORT of LD 844 – An Act To Improve Transit Services Statewide and LD 845 – An Act To Address Unmet Public Transportation Needs
James Tassé, Assistant Director
Bicycle Coalition of Maine
March 31, 2015
Good Afternoon Chairman Collins, Chairman McLean, and Members of the Committee. My name is James Tassé and I am here on behalf of the Bicycle Coalition of Maine and our 5,000 members. I urge you to vote in SUPPORT of LD 844 and LD 845.
The Bicycle Coalition of Maine is the statewide organization that advocates for bicyclists and pedestrians. We work to make Maine better for bicycling and walking.
An important part of the Bicycle Coalition of Maine’s mission is to encourage walking and bicycling as alternatives to single occupancy vehicle (SOV) trips made by automobile in order to improve road culture and safety. Compared to SOVs, public transportation systems are more efficient, more socially equitable, more economical, and more environmentally sustainable.
For people on foot in particular, public transportation is a key link between homes and destinations that are further than a mile distant. In general, research has shown that people are willing to walk to a transit stop within a mile of their home, and up to another mile to their destination. What lies between the so-called “first and last miles” of a pedestrian commute is transit, bridging the gap that is too far to walk (or in some cases, bike). By enhancing Maine’s public transportation system, we make it easier for people to achieve mobility without dependence on the automobile, which is critical for the 25% of Maine residents who do not drive because of age (both young and old), income, or choice.
For these reasons, the Bicycle Coalition of Maine supports all efforts to improve the capacity of Maine’s public transportation system.
Thank you for your time and I would be glad to answer any questions.