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Old 03-10-2011, 11:32 AM
 
468 posts, read 707,621 times
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Hi all.

I'm looking for an alternative to driving from Boston to the Houlton area and know that Cyr Bus Lines has one round trip a day from The County to Bangor where they exchange with both Concord Coach Lines and Greyhound to South Station in Boston. I notice that the Concord schedule is scheduled for tighter connections in Bangor and also doesn't make as many stops between Boston and Bangor and I was wondering if anybody has any experience making connections between Cyr/Greyhound and Cyr/Concord as well as any thoughts on the general experience of taking the bus from up in Aroostook to/from Boston?

http://www.concordcoachlines.com/images/stories/pdf/CCL_ME_FEB_11reduced.pdf (broken link)

Bangor to Northern Maine Schedule - John T. Cyr & Sons, Maine 04468 (http://www.cyrbustours.com/CyrBusLines-Schedule.htm - broken link)

Greyhound.com | Home

Though Littleton is not on Cyr's schedule, I was also wondering if anybody knows if Cyr would stop in Littleton as they pass right through it on Rt. 1? It's not as if they have to detour in any way to make a stop, unlike the stops further down the line in Oakfield, etc. where they have to get off and get back on the interstate. Also, the Greyhound site shows connecting service to Monticello, suggesting that Cyr at least stops in Monticello, but the Cyr website schedule itself does not show a stop there. Does anybody know if Cyr does indeed stop there, (if not Littleton?) I realize I could call Cyr directly for this, but I was looking for a general discussion of bus options and people on this forum generally are well in-the-know on such things.

Thanks.

(Too bad the Bangor & Aroostook doesn't run their two daily trains anymore. They had an overnight train that had a perfect schedule for me: The Potatoland Special - July, 1954 - Streamliner Schedules)

As another aside, it'll be interesting to see what happens to these bus services as the airline industry collapses as Peak Oil continues. I say that because it seems a fair amount of at least Concord's service is geared towards moving northern New Englanders to/from Logan Airport.
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Old 03-10-2011, 11:56 AM
 
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I have a friend who takes the Cyr bus from Houlton to Bangor, then transfers to Concord at their terminal. Then takes Concord to Boston. The Concord bus from Boston does stop in Portland on the way by, and I also think some runs make a stop in Augusta, but most from Boston to Bangor make the one stop in Portland. In Portland, you also might need to transfer buses to continue on, but it's pretty seemless. Also the Cyr bus will not leave Bangor right on the button if the Concord bus is running late. They will wait for the arriving bus, then make up the time, at least that's what I've seen happen before.
As far as the bus making stops at random locations, don't think you would ever see that. It's not like a municipal bus. Safety would be a factor for one thing. Also, even though it might not appear to be the case, there is security efforts made as well. I guarantee you that every Cyr bus is met in Houlton by Border Patrol officers. As it being a public conveyance, they are well within their rights to ask for identification of those travelers and do so daily. Not everyone, but it is part of the process. Now if they are checking the bus, how would that work if the bus could randomly stop along the road and pick up people?
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Old 03-10-2011, 11:57 AM
 
Location: Caribou, Me.
6,934 posts, read 5,281,154 times
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Cyr Bus is pretty flexible! I was on a northbound one night a few years ago which was carrying a new Amish family up to Smyrna.........they had never even been there before. The driver got off the highway and took the back road right to the Amish community to let them off, about a ten minute detour. (They were met at the end of the long driveway by a "welcoming committee" with gas lanterns and a horsedrawn wagon to carry them and their belongings up the hill to their new home). Nobody on the bus minded.
The Cyr driver has let me off where I want to get off, as long as it's on Route 1. I think they would probably swing into the gas station in Littleton to pick you up.....
Bus usage will increase with skyrocketing gas prices, I'm sure!
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Old 03-10-2011, 07:31 PM
 
1,594 posts, read 3,859,195 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beltrams View Post
As another aside, it'll be interesting to see what happens to these bus services as the airline industry collapses as Peak Oil continues. I say that because it seems a fair amount of at least Concord's service is geared towards moving northern New Englanders to/from Logan Airport.
That's a very good point. If gasoline prices stay high, airline ticket prices will have to go up significantly to cover fuel costs. Also, bus services will get more use as people choose to take a bus rather than spend the money for gasoline for their vehicles. Once train service starts running up the coast from Portland to Brunswick to Rockland, I wouldn't be at all surprised to see some sort of bus or jitney service develop linking Rockland to towns farther up Route 1, or from Brunswick to Lewiston. There used to be regular bus service between Rockland and Augusta and Belfast and Augusta.
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Old 03-10-2011, 11:25 PM
 
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It's good to hear that Cyr might be a bit flexible on stopping quickly in Littleton, as long as I'm right there roadside on Rt. 1.

It's been years coming, but the automobile/driving world is really going to start changing in a significant way in the next few years as we start on the downside of oil production (and/or as the developing world takes more and more of their share of the remaining oil production.) We're headed for $5 to $6 gas fairly soon, and it'll be even less affordable after that.

Bus tickets probably will have to go up too as diesel prices go up, but maybe the former won't have to go up too, too much if higher gas prices fill some of those empty seats in the buses. (Though from what I've seen Greyhound and Concord Coach buses are fairly well patronized even now...'Don't know about Cyr's.)

Maybe in time we could get a second run to/from The County each day - maybe even an overnight run down south, kind of like the overnight train schedule I linked to earlier.

As time progresses, we should see companies like Concord Coach respond to customers' changing needs - changing away from the major airports being the destination to maybe hooking up with the southern train stations such as Portland or South Station in Boston......still some years away, of course....but when gas is $9, air travel is dead, and people are still struggling to buy a $40k PHEV (or even if they DO buy a PHEV - PHEV's probably won't ever go over 100, 150 miles on electric alone, and that means serious intercity travel will have to resort to using the gasoline/diesel engine in the car, losing most of the electric savings.)

Further along, I'm curious to see how the interstates hold up in the face of much lower fuel tax revenue and a generally bankrupt government. At some point I think for this reason of potholes and bridge repair alone, I think intercity bus patronage moves back to steel rails.....so called "rapid" rail like we had up until about 60 years ago. "High speed" rail will never be affordable...at least for most travel corridors, esp. if the government is involved.

As I've spent more time in Houlton - Littleton, I am amazed at how many people drive to Bangor for shopping and other, more or less, routine things. I mean, let's say it explicitly: it's 120 miles and 2 hours each way. If Bostonians routinely drove 2 hours/120 miles for shopping, etc., it would put them past the Lakes Region of New Hampshire, almost into the White Mountains. What I'm saying is that's *far*, and yet cheap automobile travel has almost convinced at least Southern Aroostook residents they can just hop in a car and do a "quick" trip to Bangor. You just know that can't last.

As KellySmith says, Border Patrol does indeed swarm around the bus when it pulls into Houlton, but that's mainly Washington trying to justify its existence as far as I'm concerned. I suppose BP could tail the bus and stop and interrogate the locals as they get off the bus and walk back to their/my farm house. As for missing others who get on the bus without first having to prostrate themselves before the BP at Irving in Houlton, well, that's too darn bad for the BP boys and girls I guess. Heaven help us if we *have* to board a rural bus or cab only at certain checkpoints in order to keep The White House happy.

I'm going to give the bus a try soon - probably Concord - Cyr. 'Glad to hear Cyr waits for Concord in Bangor a bit if they have to.

Last edited by beltrams; 03-11-2011 at 12:08 AM..
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Old 03-11-2011, 04:42 AM
 
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Quote:
Originally Posted by beltrams View Post
As I've spent more time in Houlton - Littleton, I am amazed at how many people drive to Bangor for shopping and other, more or less, routine things. I mean, let's say it explicitly: it's 120 miles and 2 hours each way. If Bostonians routinely drove 2 hours/120 miles for shopping, etc., it would put them past the Lakes Region of New Hampshire, almost into the White Mountains. What I'm saying is that's *far*, and yet cheap automobile travel has almost convinced at least Southern Aroostook residents they can just hop in a car and do a "quick" trip to Bangor. You just know that can't last.
I've got one more response then I'm done with this thread, but "I mean, I'll say it explicitly". If you move to the area and are content to live in a community you move to the way it is, you will quite possibly get along fine. If you move to an area and tell people they are stupid for thinking it's normal to jump in their car and drive 2 hours, you will be seen as someone "from away" that knows more than the locals...at least in his/her mind, and you will not find the community much to your liking. Too many folks move to Maine and try to make it like what they think it should be like. Any plans on changing the way folks live to conform to your view of life will not fly in this neck of the woods. Mainer's are more independent than the rest of the Country, you will find.
As for the BP, they have a job to do. I've seen them meet the bus hundreds of times and never seen them swarm like you speak of. They have also removed undocumented Pakistani's from that bus. I would assume that would make you sleep a little better when you get to Littleton.
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Old 03-11-2011, 07:41 AM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
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I have used 'Concord Coach Lines' between Bangor and Logan a few times.

I like it.


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Old 03-11-2011, 11:06 AM
 
468 posts, read 707,621 times
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kellysmith View Post
I've got one more response then I'm done with this thread, but "I mean, I'll say it explicitly". If you move to the area and are content to live in a community you move to the way it is, you will quite possibly get along fine. If you move to an area and tell people they are stupid for thinking it's normal to jump in their car and drive 2 hours, you will be seen as someone "from away" that knows more than the locals...at least in his/her mind, and you will not find the community much to your liking. Too many folks move to Maine and try to make it like what they think it should be like. Any plans on changing the way folks live to conform to your view of life will not fly in this neck of the woods. Mainer's are more independent than the rest of the Country, you will find.
As for the BP, they have a job to do. I've seen them meet the bus hundreds of times and never seen them swarm like you speak of. They have also removed undocumented Pakistani's from that bus. I would assume that would make you sleep a little better when you get to Littleton.
I BEG your pardon, but I NEVER said or implied that anybody from a particular area was STUPID for driving far. Let's be clear. "stupid" is your word and I strongly disavow ever implying that, never mind using that kind of put down. In fact, I didn't use any derogatory words at all. Rather, the point I was getting at that ALL OF US, AS AMERICANS, are going to be making some adjustments as oil continues to become less available. I am not expecting to force anything on anybody. Rather, economics is going to do it whether we all like it or not. I think you are rather rashly and too quickly reacting to what you perceive in me as somebody from Away and frankly, I just don't see the basis for it.

As for the bus, I stand by my statement. I DON'T particularly feel safer by what the BP or anything the federal government has done as of late. They demand IDs for everything, everywhere. I have no problem with Pakistanis or most anybody myself. It's usually the Federal government that has gone abroad and stirred up trouble with those kinds of people (often for the benefit of major corporation-campaign donors) and now, unfortunately, some people abroad see it as payback time. I've watched BP do their thing ever since I was a kid. What they did used to be acceptable, but now what goes on at our borders and airport terminals is getting out of hand. Going further, the federal government determines what I can and cannot eat and who can produce that food, after the producer has paid all kinds of licensing fees and kept trailer loads of paperwork. They take a huge chunk of my hard earned income and spend it on overpaid TSA agents to take full body scans of grandmothers. They take over other nations' oil fields so that Haliburton can get richer. They enact draconian environmental laws and try to purge the countryside of ordinary folks with those laws to make way for more parks such as Northwoods via "rural cleansing" as another poster here has put it on more than one occasion. You yourself suggest that the feds have a reason to make sure that I cannot get on a bus at a stop of mutual choice between the bus driver/company and I. Who is telling people what they can and can't do now?

No, I don't need or thank Washington's over-reaching BP folk as much as you might think. Two agents stopping and questioning everybody on a bus that is stopped several miles back from the border is past the BP's jurisdiction under the Constitution whether BP and Washington currently agree or not.

Frankly, I don't think I am quite the nosy, person from away, looking to "change" things that you think I am. Rather, I think you would find my way of living and my politics to be quite in tune with many Mainers, Aroostook or otherwise.

With all due respect Kelly, I'm going to put down your rebuke of me as a misunderstanding on your part, caused mainly by the narrow limitations of communicating with people on written message board media such as this. Please don't be so quick to assume you know where I'm coming from just because I mention Boston every now and then because you would be quite mistaken if you do.
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Old 03-11-2011, 11:28 AM
 
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Kelly, having said all that I just did in the previous post, I DO want to thank you for the heads up on how a comment such as my previous could be taken and misinterpreted. After thinking about it for a moment, you're right, I wouldn't make such a comment to my Maine neighbors about the differences between them driving 120 miles and the willingness of my Massachusetts neighbors to do the same. I know I'd simply never say something like that in anything other than the likes of this message board because it could seem judgmental and harsh.

I guess on Internet message boards I've come to a point where I rather openly discuss and critique American attitudes towards using and depending on cheap energy, and in line with that, I couldn't help but point out how we in the US are coming to see multi-hour car drives as "ordinary", especially in some parts of the country. I failed to keep in mind that this City-Data forum is not one of the Peak Oil discussion Internet list groups that I usually patronize (groups, that by the way, easily have as many rural folk as suburban-city folk among the contributors.) And I do spend a LOT of time with such discussion groups, blogs, etc.

Some time ago I learned to parse my words regarding energy, lifestyles, driving, and whatnot when out on the street, talking to neighbors, etc. regardless of whether I am doing so in suburban Boston, or Aroostook, as I've found that I do indeed upset people who aren't used to the discussion and how uncomfortable such discussions of driving habits, etc. are. Trust me, I wouldn't have the same conversation with my Littleton neighbors that I attempted earlier here on City-Data.

I thank you for the reminder of how conversations can go astray.
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Old 03-11-2011, 06:48 PM
 
Location: God's Country, Maine
2,054 posts, read 4,341,647 times
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Peak oil is a crock! Get over it.
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