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. 

The Freeport Chamber of Commerce has sent a letter to the governor in support of NNEPRA's Brunswick plans concluding that... 

"The Freeport Chamber of Commerce is concerned  that the delay of Downeaster service improvements – like the Brunswick layover facility – will harm our local businesses and will have a negative economic impact on the entire region.  We, therefore, urge your support of NNEPRA’s planned Brunswick facility, which will allow increased ridership and services throughout the region."

===Full letter below===

August 19, 2014

 

The Honorable Paul LePage
Governor, State of Maine
#1 State House Station
Augusta, Maine 04333-0001 

Dear Governor LePage:

The Greater Freeport Chamber of Commerce, representing more than 200 local businesses, fully supports the Northern New England Passenger Rail Authority in their efforts to maintain and increase passenger rail service to Freeport and Brunswick.  Business owners in town regularly comment on the positive economic impact that the Downeaster train riders have brought to Freeport.

In 2013, over 16,000 passengers arrived and departed in Freeport.  Additionally, over 10,000 inquiries of local businesses have been made at the Train and Visitor Information Center located adjacent to the train platform.  The passenger train service has been critically important to the success of the many restaurants, shops, and lodging properties in the area.  Freeport is very supportive of the planned layover facility in Brunswick.  Having trains overnight and be serviced in Brunswick will allow for the scheduling of more round trips to and from Boston that stop in town.   Our local businesses have an important stake in the facility because it will allow visitors from all along the Downeaster line to make more frequent trips that comfortably fit their individual schedules.  NNEPRA has planned for this increased trip frequency knowing that more trips mean more capital flowing to Freeport, Brunswick and the southern mid-coast region. 

Tourism is Maine’s largest economic driver and allowing visitors the option of train travel reduces the strain on the state’s transportation infrastructure and air quality and aligns with Freeport’s heritage of environmental sensitivity.  The expanded use of mass transportation, such as the Downeaster rail service is not only supportive of local and regional business, but is also in keeping with a long tradition of environmental awareness and a focus on reducing automobile congestion and emissions.

The Freeport Chamber of Commerce is concerned  that the delay of Downeaster service improvements – like the Brunswick layover facility – will harm our local businesses and will have a negative economic impact on the entire region.  We, therefore, urge your support of NNEPRA’s planned Brunswick facility, which will allow increased ridership and services throughout the region.

Sincerely,

 

Michelle Allott, President
Greater Freeport Chamber of Commerce

Cc:         
U.S. Senator Susan Collins
U.S. Senator Angus King
U.S. Representative Chellie Pingree
The Honorable Olympia Snowe
State Senator Stan Gerzofsky, Senate District #10
State Representative Sara Gideon, House District #106
Commissioner David Bernhardt, Maine Department of Transportation
Carolann Ouellette, Director, Maine Office of Tourism
John McGough, Chief of Staff
John Butera, Senior Economic Advisor
Patricia Quinn, Executive Director, Northern New England Passenger Rail Authority