News Brief

NNEPRA reports May ridership missed FY2017 target by 5%, due to loss of approximately 2,500 riders because of weekend curtailments and heat restrictions. May ridership was only 261 passengers below May of last year. FY2017 YTD ridership is 9% ahead of target. When the June numbers come in, FY2017 promises to be a very successful year. 

August 6, 2014

 

Dear Governor LePage,

 

The Brunswick Downtown Association, representing nearly 300 local businesses and individuals, fully supports the Northern New England Passenger Rail Authority in their efforts to maintain, improve, and increase the number of trips and passengers to Brunswick.  Downtown Brunswick has witnessed a very positive economic impact from train riders to our community. Business owners repeatedly comment about their increased sales as a result of visitors using the Downeaster.  

 

Last year, the Brunswick Visitor Center hosted over 53,000 visitors to our community – many arriving from and departing on the Downeaster.  The Brunswick Downtown Association manages the Visitor Center and as such, receives first hand comments about the Amtrak Downeaster.   Passengers enjoy the safety, the comfort, and the convenience of train travel.  One complaint we do contend with is from people who have not purchased advanced tickets as often the trips are sold out. The train cars may not be full leaving Brunswick Station, but they are filled to capacity as they approach Boston.   Even with the widely reported outages last month, the Brunswick July ridership exceeded that of July 2013, marking the trend for continued growth in its utilization.

 

Having the Downeaster serve Brunswick is important for bringing visitors to our community from the state, from the region, from the country, from across the globe.  These folks bring much needed capital to our area.  Ensuring easy access to one of the most beautiful areas of the country should be a top priority for the Maine Office of Tourism as these tourism dollars funnel throughout the state. 

 

An ever-growing number of people are using the Downeaster as their preferred method of transportation both to and from Brunswick, whether for business or for pleasure.  Parents of Bowdoin College students are very grateful for this transportation option, knowing that their sons and daughters are able to travel safely and economically.   We are fast becoming the transportation hub of the Southern Midcoast Region, serving many surrounding communities.  Continuation and expansion of passenger train service to Brunswick is a vital component of our economy and our culture, not just for our community, but for the entire region. 

 

The Brunswick Downtown Association believes that further delay and disruption in improvements to NNEPRA services is harmful to local businesses, the Town of Brunswick and the region.

Sincerely,

 

Deirdra Perry, Board of Directors Chair

Brunswick Downtown Association

 

c.c.       U.S. Senator Angus King

            U.S. Senator Susan Collins

            U.S. Representative Chellie Pingree

            The Honorable Olympia Snow

            State Senator Stan Gersofsky, Senate District #10

            State Representative Peter Kent, House District #63

            State Representative Charles Priest, House District #65

            State Representative Mattie Daughtry, House District #66

            Commissioner David Bernhardt, Department of Transportation

            Carolann Ouellette, Director Maine Office of Tourism

            Chief of Staff John McGough

            Patricia Quinn, Northern New England Passenger Rail Authority

            

 

Debora King

Executive Director

Brunswick Downtown Association - Main Street Community

85 Maine Street / PO Box 15

Brunswick, ME  04011