Island Explorer Celebrates 20th Anniversary with 21 New Buses

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Information Launch Day: June 14, 2019

Get hold of: Christie Anastasia, 207 288-8806

MOUNT DESERT, MAINE – Partners of the Island Explorer bus technique gathered Friday, June 14 to rejoice the 20th Anniversary of the Island Explorer bus procedure and the integration of 21 new propane-powered buses into the fleet. The Island Explorer is a fare-totally free transportation program linking accommodations, campgrounds, and inns with locations in Acadia Countrywide Park and place villages. Given that 1999, the bus program has carried above 7.7 million travellers, decreased personal automobile traffic by additional than 2.9 million cars, and prevented the emission of an approximated 41 tons of smog-causing pollutants and 27,000 tons of greenhouse gases. The Island Explorer started working on the Schoodic Peninsula Memorial Day weekend and will begin serving Mount Desert Island and Trenton starting on June 23rd this yr.
“The Island Explorer has constantly been and will continue to be a very significant aspect of the visitor encounter at Acadia,” mentioned Acadia Nationwide Park Superintendent Kevin Schneider. “Thousands of visitors use the method every year to obtain hiking trails, the carriage streets, and other places in a safe, effortless fashion. It is been an remarkable 20-12 months partnership with the Maine Department of Transportation, the U.S. Division of Transportation, local cities, L.L.Bean, Mates of Acadia, Downeast Transportation, and more.” 
One particular of individuals companions is outdoor retailer, L.L.Bean, which has pledged extra than $4 million to the bus technique due to the fact 2002. Shawn Gorman, Executive Chairman of the Board of L.L.Bean, spoke at the Jordan Pond event. “Our mission has usually been to support extra men and women be ready to take pleasure in the outdoor,” remarked Gorman. “The Island Explorer is a organic partnership for us, because it also allows hundreds of thousands of men and women access Acadia’s great outside recreation options. L.L.Bean is incredibly happy to be a longtime supporter of the bus system’s achievements, as effectively as an ongoing companion of the National Park Foundation.”
The Mount Desert Island League of Cities also performed a significant purpose in the founding of the Island Explorer. The League of Cities is a unfastened affiliation of the city administrators from the municipalities surrounding the park. The League submitted the initial grant application to safe funding for the initial 8 Island Explorer buses, and lots of of the collaborating cities make annual contributions to guidance the Island Explorer’s functions. Fred Ehrlenbach, Vice-Chairman of the League spoke at the Jordan Pond party and stated, “This is what can be attained when municipal, state, and federal governments operate with each other with the personal sector.”
Pals of Acadia’s President David MacDonald echoed the worth of the Island Explorer to the high-quality of life for inhabitants and website visitors.  “Over two many years and tens of millions of travellers the Island Explorer has helped to decrease congestion and air pollution, obviously becoming an integral element of the Acadia working experience,” stated Mates of Acadia President and CEO David MacDonald. “This most current buy of new products, and continued assistance by the Park Provider, the Point out of Maine, L.L.Bean, FOA and the broader group clearly indicators that the Island Explorer will proceed to perform a critical function in aiding to address targeted traffic and transportation troubles likely ahead.”
Users of the Maine Congressional delegation ended up not able to show up at the party at Jordan Pond, but they despatched congratulatory remarks.

“Since 1999, the Island Explorer has furnished absolutely free and practical transportation amongst attractions inside Acadia Nationwide Park and the bordering communities,” explained Senator Susan Collins. “With 10 bus routes serviced by a fleet of clean up, propane-run buses, the Island Explorer has assisted to ease site visitors congestion and strengthen the park knowledge for every person. The addition of 21 new buses to the fleet marks remarkable expansion for the Island Explorer method, which will have its 8 millionth rider this summer time. You have offered an invaluable service to the local community, and I am delighted to congratulate you on all that you have completed.”

Senator Angus King mentioned, “With more than 3 million website visitors a year, Acadia Nationwide Park is 1 of the most frequented countrywide parks in our region – but at only 180 square miles, it is also just one of the smallest. For two decades, the Island Explorer buses have served the entire Mount Desert Island community cope with this influx of targeted traffic by receiving people and guests where by they require to get to safely and securely and proficiently. As Acadia’s yearly site visitors steadily improve, we want to make positive we’re creating the suitable investments so this process can go on to stimulate significant financial action for Acadia and the bordering cities. The addition of 21 new Island Explorer buses is an important phase for MDI, and it is the consequence of a collaboration involving personal business enterprise, neighborhood leaders, and point out and federal governments – a true testomony to the items we can execute when we get the job done collectively toward a popular objective.”

Representative Chellie Pingree remarked, “Because it’s cost-free, accessible, and addresses so several of the key MDI locations, website visitors from Maine and beyond have been ready to take pleasure in all the pieces of our treasured community lands, from hikes to beaches to museums. 20 many years immediately after its founding, the Explorer has carried almost 8 million riders—an extraordinary testomony to the impacts of public transportation for all sections of our state. I simply cannot wait around to see how the acquisition of new buses opens up our wonderful park to quite a few much more vacationers.”

Congressman Jared Golden mentioned “Free, available rides from the Island Explorer are portion of what make a check out to Acadia Nationwide Park and Mount Desert Island these types of a common alternative for Mainers and readers from across the country. I’m energized to see the new, minimal-emission buses in motion and I glimpse forward to a different 20 many years of the Island Explorer.”
More than the previous 20 years, the Island Explorer has developed from a fleet dimensions of eight buses to 31 buses in operation, in addition six spare buses, and 4 vans and two bicycle trailers. Paul Murphy, Govt Director of Downeast Transportation, the operator of the Island Explorer credits his employees for contributing to the achievement of the Island Explorer. “We are so fortuitous to have a significant group of dedicated drivers who go to to visitor requirements and traffic protection,” Murphy stated. “Our staff members are the coronary heart and soul of the Island Explorer.” Downeast Transportation hires all-around 110 drivers every 12 months and recruits for the position yr-spherical.
Murphy also thanked the Propane Schooling and Analysis Council (PERC) for the organization’s help in searching for producers inclined to produce and establish the 21 new propane-powered buses to be integrated into Island Explorer operations this year. The past Island Explorer bus types had been no for a longer time currently being produced, so Downeast Transportation (DTI) experienced to locate a new supplier. PERC assisted join DTI to Hometown Production, a Wisconsin 3rd technology owned, female owned company, who produced the new buses, which had been marketed by way of the distributor, Alliance Bus. “Today Acadia Countrywide Park carries on to lead the way with its dedication to cleanse air and a superior and healthier surroundings making use of propane fueled buses. These propane buses boost the park working experience for everybody because they are cleaner, quieter, and productive. Propane is an important component of the emerging clean up electrical power financial system and it is an significant part of America’s thoroughly clean strength blend. I want to commend Acadia Countrywide Park for its revolutionary leadership and superior stewardship of its financial and environmental methods by increasing propane buses in the park,” explained Tucker Perkins CEO for the Propane Schooling & Exploration Council.
Funding for the new buses was supported by the Nationwide Park Company and the Point out of Maine and the acquisition was managed by the Maine Department of Transportation in conjunction with Downeast Transportation. “Easy, hassle-free travel is portion of Maine’s point out model,” mentioned Maine Department of Transportation Commissioner Bruce Van Note. “The Island Explorer is a crucial ingredient to that model, enabling site visitors from all in excess of the place and globe to enjoy the normal splendor of Acadia National Park and encompassing region with simplicity. I am honored to be a part of in the celebration of 20 several years of partnership, collaboration, and achievement, and glimpse ahead to many years far more.”
Once-a-year functioning funding for the Island Explorer is in partnership via Acadia Countrywide Park, the U.S. and Maine Departments of Transportation, contributions from L.L.Bean and Buddies of Acadia, area municipal appropriations, service fees from companies that receive front door service, and passenger donations. A part of each individual weekly and annual Acadia Nationwide Park entrance cost is devoted to funding the Island Explorer’s functions.
Island Explorer information and facts and schedules are obtainable on line at A cellular mobile phone software showing the locale of Island Discover buses can be downloaded at

Get hold of: 

Christie Anastasia, Community Affairs Specialist, Acadia Nationwide Park, 207-288-8806, e-mail us
Mary Ann Hayes, Multimodal Setting up Division Supervisor, Maine Section of Transportation, 207-624-3239,e-mail us
Eric C. Smith, Community Relations, L.L.Bean, 207-552-4020, [email protected]
Fred Ehrlenbach, Vice Chairman, MDI League of Cities, 207-667-8804, [email protected]
Earl Brechlin, Communications Director, Buddies of Acadia, 207-288-3340, [email protected]
Paul Murphy, Government Director, Downeast Transportation, 207-667-5796, [email protected]
Ingrid Bechard, Director of Industry Communications, Propane Instruction & Exploration Council, 202-669-6964,[email protected] 

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