Island Explorer Awarded $23.5M for Electric Bus Fleet

Full story via MDIslander

The federal government has awarded the Maine Department of Transportation $23,529,000 for the Electrify Downeast Acadia Project.

Working hand in hand with Downeast Transportation, the National Park Service, Acadia National Park (ANP) and Friends of Acadia, MDOT applied for the funds on behalf of the Island Explorer bus system, which is primarily funded by ANP and currently consists of 36 propane-powered buses (as well as an assortment of smaller vans). The money will go towards the purchase of 24 new electric buses and accompanying charging stations to replace a majority of the current fleet, not to add to it.

“There is still a lot of work to be done before we make this transition,” said Paul Murphy, executive director of Downeast Transportation, the Island Explorer’s parent organization. “But we are thrilled and honored to be entrusted with such a substantial grant that will enable us to make big steps away from fossil fuels.”

Read the full story from the MDIslander:
Island Explorer awarded $23.5M for electric bus fleet

One of Acadia’s many perks is the free Island Explorer bus service. This fleet of buses brings visitors to and from a host of locations within the park, as well as around Mount Desert Island and surrounding communities. It takes the pressure off parking (win!), reduces traffic congestion and emissions within the park (win!), and lets you relax and enjoy your exploring
(win!). You can bring your bike, too!

Friends of Acadia has been involved with the bus system since the beginning, helping to fund and spearhead the initial test routes and facilitate major gifts from L.L.Bean and other donors to enable continued growth of this innovative transportation system. The Island Explorer receives funding from the state and federal government, as well as grants from L.L.Bean, Friends of Acadia, local towns, businesses, and passenger donations.

The Island Explorer runs through October 14, 2024. Learn more at

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