Reducing emissions through lower vehicles miles traveled (VMT)

Reducing the number of vehicle miles traveled is another key strategy to reducing emissions in the transportation sector, identified in the State’s climate action plan. Although MaineDOT can’t ask drivers to use their vehicles less, the Department can provide drivers with the choice of alternative modes of transportation. There are a number of projects underway which have goals of increasing mobility options and increasing bike/ped safety, both of which may influence a driver’s decision to drive their vehicle.

Family of Plans

MaineDOT is currently updating its Long-Range Transportation Plan 2050. The plan will integrate the state’s Strategic Transit plan, which looks at current statewide travel patterns as well as how likely people are to use transit, and the Active Transportation plan, which includes a recommendation to collect data on the number of pedestrian, bicycle, and other active transportation users in targeted areas of the state. More information is available through the Family of Plans storymap.

Village Program

The Bureau of Planning team members are working to help municipalities scope future projects that will revitalize Maine downtowns. We’ve engaged in planning partnerships with Old Orchard Beach, Auburn, Skowhegan, Norway, Rangeley, and others. These efforts may lead to Village Partnership Initiative projects that increase economic opportunity and quality of life in lower-speed village areas through effective design for all users, updated lighting, parking, safer pedestrian walkways, and more.

Gateway Treatment

Some funding within the Village programs will be used to install roadway features that signal to drivers when they are entering downtown areas that they need to drive carefully. The goal of these gateway features is to improve safety for pedestrians and access to businesses. MaineDOT has identified the roadway features that are most effective in the State.

Complete Streets

It is the policy of MaineDOT to carefully consider the needs of all users in the earliest stages of infrastructure project design. This consideration leads to designs that have included new sidewalks, as well as the addition of shoulders, bike lanes, transit stops, freight unloading zones and accommodations for people with disabilities. Under Complete Streets, recent projects in urban or village areas, such as in Belgrade, Ogunquit, Thomaston, Yarmouth, Bar Harbor and Hallowell, have focused on safety for all users of the roadway, and resulted in streetscapes that are much safer and friendlier to pedestrians and other non-motorized users of the road network. MaineDOT is currently reviewing the State’s Complete Streets Policy to provide safe and accessible streets and highways, with plans to update the policy by early 2023. As part of this process, MaineDOT has hosted community meetings in 23 communities with a history of pedestrian fatalities, three public events, and numerous stakeholder meetings. Revisions to the Complete Streets Policy focus on safety for all users, especially cyclists and pedestrians.


MaineDOT, in partnership with the Maine Turnpike Authority, runs the state’s ride-sharing program, GOMAINE, which was relaunched in early 2022. GO MAINE provides ride matching for carpoolers, rewards people for taking green commutes and offers the Emergency Ride Home Benefit for members. GO MAINE serves the entire state of Maine, and services are free. For more information on the program, visit the GO MAINE website

Workforce Transportation Pilot

The Workforce Transportation Pilot program is an initiative of Governor Mills’ Maine Jobs & Recovery Plan to pursue and develop transportation solutions that connect workers with employers across Maine. This $5 million program will provide competitive grants of up to $750,000 to local and regional partnerships to pilot innovative ways to connect workers and employers through ridesharing, vanpools, and other subsidized transit options. The first award, a $387,200 grant to Sunday River of Newry, will support the purchase of four all-wheel-drive vans to offer free transportation for workers from nearby towns to the ski resort, to support existing employees and to reduce barriers to work for new employees.