BANGOR – This year’s Commute Another Way Day slogan – “It’s time to be fuel efficient ” – has caught the eye of many area motorists, especially those who break into a nervous sweat every time they see convenience store employees replacing a gasoline price sign with a new skyrocketed value.
The Bangor area will kick off the day’s celebration 7-10 a.m. Wednesday at Pickering Square as a way to encourage residents to alter their lifestyles and cut down on fuel costs and gas emissions.
“Everybody thinks the theme this year is very appropriate,” Dianne Currie, transportation technician for the Bangor Area Comprehensive Transportation System, said. “We all want to save on gas, but we also want people to think about different modes of transportation.”
Coordinators hope to see local residents on Wednesday walking, biking, carpooling and using the Bangor Area Transit bus system to get to work. The BAT will offer free rides to all community members to observe the day. Last year, 2,354 people took advantage of the free ride, Laurie Linscott at the BAT said Monday.
The event is a statewide initiative funded by the Maine Department of Transportation and the Maine Turnpike Authority. It began 12 years ago and now is organized by Go Maine Commuter Connections, a Portland-based community commuter group.
In its sixth year of participation, the Bangor area has 23 companies that signed up online to join in the event, with 126 participants total.
Statewide, more than 10,000 people are expected to take part, leaving local coordinators hoping for more involvement.
“Gas prices have spiked and cheap oil is probably beyond our lifetime,” Carey Kish, manager of Go Maine, said Monday. “It’s time to get everybody thinking. It’s time for all of us to be fuel efficient.”
Participants can sign up at www.commuteanotherwayday.org, or sign up Wednesday morning at Pickering Square.