Please remember that all BSOOB Transit passengers must wear a mask while riding the bus.

Contact Us

Employee Portal

ALERTS

Ironman impacts on BSOOB Transit Service

There will be an Ironman event in Old Orchard Beach from Friday, August 27th thru Sunday, August 29th.

There will be many detours and road closures causing changes and delays to our service.

Milliken Street Municipal closes Tuesday 8/24 at Midnight and will remain closed until Sunday 8/29 around 8pm.

The OOB Police will close off First Street at Midnight Thursday 8/26 and will remain closed until Sunday 8/29 around 5pm.

On Friday, Aug.27th  and Saturday, Aug. 28th,  the Blue Line will pick up passengers at the corner of Heath and First Street and at the corner of Saco Ave and Staples Street.

On Sunday, Aug. 29th,  the Trolleys will not start operations until 6pm.

On Sunday, Aug. 29th, the Green Line will run on Route 1 from the Saco Transportation Center to Portland, the Blue Line will pick up passengers in Old Orchard Beach and bring them to the Saco Transportation Center to transfer to the Green Line.

(Road Closures and detours click here)

(Ironman Schedule Road Impact click here)

Please visit our website at www.BSOOBTransit.org for more information.

Mask mandate on public transportation is driving confusion and some confrontation

(click here to see full article from the Portland Press Herald July 22, 2021) 

Although masks have not been required in most public settings in Maine for weeks, riders still must wear them on buses, trains and other mass transit.

Ed Knutson, a driver for Greater Portland Metro, said some riders have tried to explain to him that masks are no longer required on the bus because the state of emergency in Maine has been lifted.

Ed Knutson, a driver for Greater Portland Metro, said some riders have tried to explain to him that masks are no longer required on the bus because the state of emergency in Maine has been lifted. Brianna Soukup/Staff Photographer

The Greater Portland Metro Route 1 bus waited with its doors open at the Monument Square station as Scott Berkley searched his pockets for a crumpled-up mask.

Berkley, a Portland resident, didn’t need to wear a mask while sitting at the bus stop, or in most of the stores around him, but he did need it to ride. 

Although Maine’s mask mandate was lifted nearly two months ago, a federal law still requires masks on all public transportation throughout the nation, and that has led to confusion and some confrontation on public transportation – and bus drivers are feeling the heat.

“The vast majority of our riders are fully cooperative, but people are becoming less tolerant, less understanding, and more combative,” Metro bus driver Ed Knutson said. “There’s definitely been more hostility.”

Knutson, a bus operator at Greater Portland Metro since 2011, said there have been isolated instances of people refusing to wear a mask, and riders trying to explain to him that masks are no longer required because the state of emergency in Maine has been lifted.

“I try to be diplomatic with them and state the fact, if you want to ride the bus, you’re going to need a mask,” Knutson said. “I’ve worked my whole career with people, so this isn’t anything I’m not used to. But it’s definitely been a more stressful job lately.”

Advertisement

While riding the route 1 Metro Bus loop this week, a Press Herald reporter did not witness any confrontations or confusion surrounding the mask policy.

Buses aren’t the only places where masks are still required. Many health care settings, and even some businesses, still ask visitors to mask up. And although Maine lifted its mask mandate on May 24, health officials still recommend that unvaccinated people wear them indoors or in crowded settings. With the recent spike in cases across the country, including in Maine, some areas are beginning to reinstitute mask mandates, but they aren’t widespread yet.

 

Scott Berkeley dons a mask before boarding a Greater Portland metro bus, where masks are required for passengers and drivers. Ben McCanna/Staff Photographer

As for public transit, which also includes subways, trains and airplanes, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said it plans to keep its mask policy in place at least through Sept. 13.

In the meantime, it is becoming the responsibility of public transit workers to deal with an increasingly frustrated body of passengers.

According to Craig Pendelton, director of external affairs for Biddeford Saco Old Orchard Beach Transit, their bus lines have experienced delays due to the amount of time bus drivers spend getting people to put on masks, or to explain that the federal policy remains in place.

We don’t want our drivers to be the police,” Pendelton said. “But if customers get aggressive, then they have no choice but to follow the policy in place.” 

Greater Portland Metro, Biddeford Saco Old Orchard Beach Transit and Concord Coach Lines officials, seeing that fewer people have been carrying around masks, have made sure to equip their drivers with extra masks to hand out to passengers.

We are trying as much as possible to stop conflict as soon as we can – to nip it in the bud if you will,” said Leon Parson, customer service manager at Greater Portland Metro. 

Last month, Biddeford Saco Old Orchard Beach Transit put in an order for 20,000 masks to hand out on its buses.

 

Philip Gaynor of Austin, Texas, rides a Greater Portland Metro bus, where masks are required for passengers and drivers. Ben McCanna/Staff Photographer

Ben Blunt, vice president of Concord Coach Lines, which operates buses between New York and Maine, said the bus service hasn’t seen an increase in noncomplying passengers, but in the last two months they have been handing out plenty of complimentary masks.

Concord Coach Lines also has reinforced their signage around their bus stops to make sure people understand that masks are still required by federal law.

Though Maine has one of the highest vaccination rates, COVID-19 cases have been rising steadily since the beginning of the month. The same is happening elsewhere and public health experts say the surges are being fueled by the delta variant, which now accounts for up to 83 percent of analyzed cases nationwide, circulating among unvaccinated populations.

Ian McClelland, of Portland, while riding a Greater Portland Metro bus this week, said that even though he is vaccinated, he has become more concerned with the delta variant.

“Especially in higher density areas like the bus, I feel like we have to be careful,” McClelland said. “I’m on the bus for five minutes, and it’s such an easy thing to wear a mask.”

On Amtrak, there has not been an increase in an unwillingness to comply with the mask requirements, said Jason Abrams, public relations manager. He noted that passengers refusing to wear a mask can be subject to penalties under federal law, denied boarding and even banned from future travel. He said there have not been any instances of this occurring recently.

Reduction of Operating Hours for the Camp Ellis/OOB2 Trolley

Reduction of Operating Hours
Effective Saturday, July 24th Camp Ellis/OOB2 red line
will have the following changes:
Sunday through Wednesday 2:00pm-9:00pm
Thursday through Saturday 2:00pm-10:00pm
It is with deep regret that we have been forced
to take this necessary action.

The Post-Pandemic labor shortage has created difficulty finding
highly qualified drivers that we desire and you deserve.
Serious consideration was taken in making this decision.
We still want to provide you with the excellent service you are accustomed
to. During the day enjoy the gorgeous beaches and mid-afternoon to
evening take a ride downtown to Old Orchard Beach.
Thank you for your patience and understanding

Senator Collins Announces More Than $3.2 Million for Public Transit Buses in Maine

Washington, D.C. — U.S. Senator Susan Collins, the Chairman of the Transportation Appropriations Subcommittee, announced that the City of Bangor’s Community Connector Public Transit System, the Maine Department of Transportation (MDOT), and the Biddeford-Saco-Old Orchard Beach Transit Committee have received a total of $3,223,567 to replace public transit vehicles that have exceeded their useful lives and construct a new transportation center.  This funding was administered through the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Grants for Buses and Bus Facilities Program.

click here to read the full Press Release

Construction and Road Repairs Causing Delays

There are road repairs and construction happening a several locations in Biddeford and Saco causing slight delays.

Please be patient as we safely navigate through these areas.

So far delays have been very limited.

Thank you for your business with us.

BSOOB Transit Operators in the Spotlight! Meet Bob

What is Transit Together?

Transit Together are transit providers that help Southern Mainers — workers, students, seniors, and others — get where you need to go. They provide more than 4 million trips each year in the Greater Portland region, to the Casco Bay Islands, and beyond.”During the pandemic, we’ve put in place proven COVID safety protocols. Thanks to the dedication of our transit workers, we’ve been able to keep you moving…efficiently, affordably, courteously, and as safely as possible. By providing an alternative to automobiles, we also help reduce road congestion and air pollution—including the emission of greenhouse gases that cause climate change.”

A few of our Bus Operators were featured on their website Here is Bob P. who was one of them to be in the Spotlight!

 

Check out their Transit Togethers website for more information.https://www.transittogether.org/