Phase 1 Background Information
The Maine Department of Transportation (MaineDOT) developed a master plan and Environmental Assessment (EA) for an intermodal transportation facility/welcome center/bus maintenance facility in Trenton, Maine, in accordance with the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA) and the Department of the Interior/National Park Service’s Directors Order 12 (DO-12) and Handbook.
The MaineDOT worked with Acadia National Park (ANP), Friends of Acadia (FOA), Downeast Transportation Inc. (DTI), and the City of Trenton to develop a facility in Trenton, Maine. This facility would look to serve at least four functions:
- provide a place for day use visitors and commuters to leave their cars and ride the Island Explorer transit system;
- offer visitor information about Acadia National Park and the surrounding region;
- provide visitor amenities, such as restrooms, phones, and perhaps complementary commercial services; and,
- provide DTI with offices, a light bus maintenance area, secure fleet storage, and a fueling location. The four primary functions could be in separate facilities and phased in over time.
- A facility in Trenton would give travelers the opportunity to access bus service before they arrive on Mount Desert Island. This supports Phase 3 of the Island Explorer initiative, which calls for servicing day use visitors.
- Hulls Cove Visitor Center is small, and being located in Bar Harbor, is not properly sited to adequately address information needs of all visitors to the Mount Desert Island region.
- The Park studied the need for a new Visitor Welcome Center and supported a Trenton site.
- MaineDOT has been working on conceptual planning for a shared facility for many years.
- Friends of Acadia, a not-for-profit organization, secured an option on a 369-acre property in Trenton, called, “Crippens Creek”. This property was selected by MaineDOT as the best location for a shared intermodal transportation hub/welcome center/bus maintenance facility.
- There are opportunities for public – private development of the facilities at Crippens Creek. The property may serve as a gateway to Downeast Maine, providing travelers with information of other destinations in Hancock and Washington Counties.
- This site supports MaineDOT, Hancock County Planning Commission (HCPC), and Town of Trenton’s Route 3 Alternative Study. This study will promote access management and may assist Trenton in developing a concept of local streets that will support business development off of Route 3 and may enhance ease of travel through the region.
- DTI, the operator of the Island Explorer, requires a maintenance facility, fueling station, office space, and storage areas to fully support bus operations.
- The Trenton Facility is planned to be one of a number of statewide intermodal facilities envisioned to provide flexible connections between potential transportation modes. As outlined in Explore Maine, the Strategic Passenger Transportation Plan, these facilities will be interconnected into a system of transportation hubs that provide access to different geographic regions within the state.
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