Planning Division | 389 Congress Street | 4th Floor | Portland, Maine 04101 | 207-874-8719


Portland Peninsula Transit Study Report and Action Plan (2009)

A Time of Change: Portland Transportation Plan (1993)

congress street bus priority corridor

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Final Report and Recommendations

During 2011 and 2012, the City of Portland with the Greater Portland Council of Governments (GPCOG) and the Portland Area Comprehensive Transportation System (PACTS) engaged with Gorrill-Palmer Engineers, Nelson Nygaard Consulting and Barton & Gingold, to carry out a FTA-funded study to consider a portion of Congress Street as a "Bus Priority Corridor." The Congress Street Bus Priority Corridor concept was recommended by the 2009 Peninsula Transit Study, an approved component of the City's Comprehensive Plan.

City Planning staff acted as project managers of the study with contributions and input from GPCOG, PACTS, Department of Public Services, and the Office of Transportation Policy. The process has also engaged with a group of operational stakeholders including the METRO, South Portland Bus, Shuttle Bus/Zoom, RTP, Portland's Downtown District, and the City Parking Manager. Outreach was extended to key property owners and institutions as well as the Portland Fire and Police Departments. The City Council's Transportation, Sustainability, and Energy (TSE) Committee provided additional oversight to the process and voted to refer the process recommendations to the full City Council.

The study area extends along Congress Street from Franklin Street to State Street. During the course of the study, the consulting team evaluated broad circulation changes to the downtown street system, but concerns from property owners, institutions, and emergency responders resulted in a more modest set of recommendations.

The final results and recommendations of this process are limited to a set of infrastructure improvements to the Congress Street corridor within the study area. The project specifically includes the following:

The most notable changes recommended are the removal of existing traffic signals at Brown and Casco Streets. To mitigate the loss of the pedestrian crossing signals, the plan recommends enhanced crosswalk treatments and signage at these streets.

New bus shelter locations that anticipate curb extensions into the existing Congress Street travel lanes will be tested with pavement paint for their first season due to emergency services concerns over access through the corridor. After evaluation, those revised bus stops that function acceptably with the recommended geometry will be permanently improved with curbing and shelter construction.

On February 25, 2013, the Portland City Council voted to accept the Congress Street Bus Priority Corridor: Final Summary Report, to adopt the report's recommendation, and to direct City staff to implement the recommendations.

Final Report and Recommendations

Final Summary Report
Appendix 1 to 4
Appendix 5, Plans

Contact Us
Please contact Bill Needelman, AICP, Senior Planner at 874-8722 or with questions or comments.