Maine Chapter

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44 Oak St, Suite 301,  Portland ME 04101  (207) 761-5616



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Smart Growth Mobility Project

The Smart Growth Mobility Project developed by the Maine Rail Transit Coalition, Sierra Club Maine, Maine Commercial Association of Realtors and interested citizens and businesses, is a plan for transportation policy aimed at implementing new strategies for future passenger rail and transit investments in targeted communities along railway
transportation corridors.

Read more about this in the brochure (pdf).


Better Communities Start with More Transportation Choices

Lack of Transportation Choices Traps People in Their Cars and Pollutes the Environment

Start With Rail

By better balancing transportation spending between roads and less-polluting public transportation, like rail, transit and clean buses, we can reduce the number of miles people have to drive,  provide Americans more transportation choices and better reflect Americans priorities on a clean environment, good health and enhanced quality of life.  With a regional rail system in place, we can better plan other local and regional transportation projects like bus, trolley, bicycle and pedestrian routes. 


Maine Sierra Club Transportation Position Paper


Draft Maine State Rail Plan 2010

Transportation Governance and Finance: a 50-State Review of State Legislatures and Departments of Transportation. The report focuses on transportation finance and the roles and relationships among the branches of state government that are most active in transportation issues.

NEW: Study shows rail brings economic investment

Freeport is known as a world class shopping destination and home to LL Bean’s headquarters.  Deb King, Executive Director of the Greater Freeport Chamber of Commerce, said retailers in the town’s 170 store shopping district adjacent to the new train platform look forward to more shoppers visiting from Boston and Portland when train service begins in November. The new $2.5 million movie theatre next to the train station is the latest new attraction to open in Freeport.


In Portland, private developers are planning a $100 million investment in Thompson’s Point near the train station.  The investment would turn a brownfield site into a new entertainment and business district for the city. The new investment includes a sports and convention complex that would be the new home of the NBA Development League’s Portland Red Claws. The new development would create 475 permanent jobs that would add $11 million in annual wages to the Portland economy. In addition city coffers would see nearly $1 million per year in new tax revenue.


These investments are just the start for the people of Maine. An independent study shows that by 2030, Downeaster train service will spur nearly $7.2 billion in new construction along the corridor.  Nearly 18,000 new jobs will be created. State and local budgets will benefit each year from nearly $75 million in new tax revenue generated from increased economic activity.


Maine has put together a short video of what the locals are saying about the project:


Rail Study Documents are now available:

·  Portland North Alternative Modes

·  Portland to Lewiston/Auburn & Montreal Passenger Rail Feasibility Study

The studies listed above are now available on the MaineDOT website at the following link:  Comments will be accepted and filed with the reports until Friday, September 2, 2011.  


Over-reliance on highways adversely effects communities by :


· Polluting our air and water

· Increasing congestion and commute times

· Wasting  gas and energy

· Eating up open space, farmland and habitat

· Creating noise pollution

· Causing habitat fragmentation and loss of biodiversity

· Hurting downtown businesses by encouraging sprawl

Railways and beds last for decades  resulting in less maintenance than asphalt roadways.  Asphalt roadways use large amounts  of petroleum per mile and constantly need repaving.  By getting freight and cars off the highways and on the tracks, the state reduce wear and tear  on our highways.

Investing in Rail will help Maine by: 

· With the movement of raw materials and manufactured goods  in and out of the state burdened by the high costs of highway freight shipping.

· Reduce maintenance costs of highways and arterials

· Create jobs in railroad construction and development of railroad stations and rail yards.

· Eliminate traffic congestion  (thousands of cars trips per year)

· Creates local economic benefits by supporting transit oriented development. 

 Benefits of Rail

Reduces air and global warming pollution like Mercury, NOx, SOx and CO2.       (estimated CO2 emissions: Rail:0.3 tons Highway:0.9 tons)

Rail Is Safer

Rail Is Faster (rail time door to door can be faster than air or car)

Rail is more Fuel Efficient than Cars or Trucks

Promotes energy conservation and resource efficient





Let's rebuild and renew the economies of New England, upstate New York and the provinces of Eastern Canada, by investing in a systematic and environmentally responsible way in rail infrastructures as a region.  By investing we mean organizing, coordinating, and managing the input of increased capital, by both government entities and the private sector, into the region’s basic infrastructure.

· Fund innovative incentive-based programs for encouraging alternative transportation use

· By infrastructure we mean anything that moves people, goods, energy, or ideas.

· By environmentally responsible we mean stressing low-carbon impact infrastructure investments. That means we will emphasize reconstruction of rail infrastructure of the region .

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