Lewiston/Auburn Passenger Rail Service Plan

NNEPRA Project

PROJECT BACKGROUND

In 2015, the 127th Maine Legislature, in PL 2015, c. 267, Pt. YY, approved a $500,000 fund allocation and directed the Department of Transportation (MaineDOT), in consultation with the cities of Lewiston and Auburn and Northern New England Passenger Rail Authority (NNEPRA), to conduct a study and complete a plan for the implementation of passenger rail service between the cities of Lewiston and Auburn and the Amtrak Downeaster service. The municipalities of Lewiston and Auburn have contributed $50,000 toward the project cost.

NNEPRA is serving as the Project Manager for the Lewiston/Auburn Passenger Rail Service Plan (Plan). Through a competitive procurement process, VHB in partnership with WSP has been selected as the Project Consultant Team.

Overseeing the project, a nine-member Project Committee was established, to represent the diverse views and regional perspectives included representatives from NNEPRA and MaineDOT, as well as representatives from the Cities of Lewiston and Auburn.

Members include:

  • Lincoln Jeffers, Lewiston Director of Economic Development
  • Richard Grandmaison, Lewiston
  • John Myrand, Lewiston (replaced Rep. Jared Golden)
  • Representative Bettyann Sheats, Auburn
  • Jonathan Labonte, Former Mayor of Auburn
  • Robert Stone, Former Auburn City Councilor
  • Mary Ann Hayes, MaineDOT
  • Patricia Quinn, NNEPRA

The Committee began work on the project in Spring 2017 and has met monthly along with the Project Consulting Team since the fall of 2017.

 

PROJECT ELEMENTS

This project has been organized into two distinct evaluations: (1) transit propensity assessment (i.e., ridership estimation); and (2) corridor considerations and operating service evaluations.

  • Public meetings were held to solicit feedback from communities on the characteristics of a potential service in both Portland (March 27, 2018) and Lewiston-Auburn (March 28, 2018).

  • The first phase analysis involved an assessment of potential ridership. A range of ridership estimates were developed by evaluating the demographics and travel patterns in the area, by considering the potential development opportunities of a rail connection and by examining similar rail corridors across the country.

  • The second phase evaluation has included the development of Service Scenarios, an assessment of infrastructure needs and costs to support various service scenarios, and a potential plan for implementation. A full report of this evaluation will be posted here as soon as it is available.

  • A public meeting was held in Lewiston (March 27, 2019) to present findings from the second phase work to date.

Feedback and questions related to the project may be directed to: [email protected]