Monday, January 29, 2007

METRO Extends "FREE Ticket to Ride"

METRO, Greater Portland Transit District, will continue to offer free bus transportation to middle and high school students in Portland and Westbrook until the end of the current school year - through June 2007. The program was introduced in September 2006 to encourage young people to use bus service in the Greater Portland area. Since September, METRO has provided more than 14,000 free rides to hundreds of students in the Greater Portland area.

Jim Violette, METRO board president, termed the program a “tremendous success." Early data indicates that many students (as well as classes of students with a designated teacher) are accessing the METRO through the program. Mary Jo O'Connor, superintendent of Portland Schools, said "We are thrilled that this program will continue."

Derek Pierce, principal of Casco Bay High School said that students and curriculum have really benefited from access to the free METRO. Portland's newest public high school frequently uses METRO for expeditionary learning opportunities in the community.

METRO, with bus ridership averaging 1.3 million annually, is Maine's largest public transportation carrier, providing bus service to Portland, Westbrook, Falmouth and the Maine Mall area of South Portland.


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