Going Places Network Looking for New Operator & Owner for PI Loop
The Going Places Network (GPN) will soon release a Request For Proposal (RFP) to assist the team in finding a new operator and owner for the PI Loop. The PI Loop was created to provide community members, a sustainable, dependable, all inclusive, alternative public busing system in Presque Isle. The PI Loop began operations on October 15, 2019 to better connect community members to education, employment and so much more.
Recently, the PI Loop Leadership Team was notified by Aroostook Regional Transportation System (ARTS) that they will not continue as the operator of the PI Loop post COVID-19. The memorandum of understanding between ARTS, as the operator, and Aroostook County Action Program (ACAP), selected as the fiscal sponsor by the Going Places Network, ended on March 31, 2020. The ARTS Board of Directors has indicated that they have suspended operation of the PI Loop.
From the beginning, GPN worked with Maine Department of Transportation to create a system that would best serve the Star City. Based on similar projects across the state, including in communities comparable in size to Presque Isle, the group understood that new projects take three years to reach full potential and sustainability. “The Going Places Network remains committed to addressing the transportation challenges for families in the Presque Isle Community. We continue to work to address these challenges. We are hopeful a successful bidder will emerge and service will resume soon,” said Co-Chairs, Jamie Chandler and LeRae Kinney. “Our efforts to find a solution to meet the transportation needs in Presque Isle and our region will continue.”
After receiving confirmation of the need for a new transportation provider for The PI Loop, the leadership team of the initiative quickly met to discuss options for operations moving forward. The team has proposed that a search be conducted to find an alternative operator and owner for the transportation program. The team will create an RFP to gauge interest and capacity with the goal of ultimately selecting a bidder to resume services to the Star City.