“Do I need to have a car on MDI?”

While this question comes to us mostly from visitors, we know people who don’t drive that live here year round, so here are some thoughts for all who are wondering if they can spend time on MDI without their own car. In this first part, we talk about your options of getting on and off of ‘the island’ without a car. (Next one, we’ll talk about getting around, once you’re here.)

Most likely, you’re coming from Bangor, Ellsworth, or Bar Harbor Airport in Trenton.  Taxis are available 24/7 and can be scheduled in advance. It’ll just be you in most cases, though Uber/Lyft offer carpooling options that might help reduce costs if you’re OK to share with who knows who.

Taxi

Taxis are available 24/7 and can be scheduled in advance. It’ll just be you in most cases, though Uber/Lyft offer carpooling options that might help reduce costs if you’re ok to share with who know who. Over the last few years taxi services have somewhat exploded on the Island, but we are aware of these:

If you know of any more please add to the comments!

Of course, there are also lots of out of town possibilities if you coming from Bangor as well.

All companies should be able to give you a quote on the cost for these trips rather than going by a meter. They’ll often give a discount for a 2 way trip/reduced fare on the return if you’re visiting.


Uber/Lyft

Both of these services are available and fare estimates and wait times can be estimated.
Bar Harbor to Bangor seems to be around $100, but there’s huge variations based on time of day and other factors.

Bar Harbor Shuttle

Bar Harbor Shuttle offer multiple trips daily to and from Bangor. They will stop at BH Airport and Bangor Bus Station. there is no published schedule as it depends on season, number of passengers etc. they are very accommodating and usually pick-up/drop-off at your location. Plan on spending$50 each way, though there are bulk discounts if your group is 3 or more.
You’ll be traveling in a van so may have a bit more space and you’ll have the opportunity to meet other passengers, but it may take a bit longer if there are a lot of different pick up/drop off points.

Downeast Transportation

Downeast Transportation runs numerous bus routes around the area from Bar Harbor, including Bangor (airport, Concord bus and Mall), Ellsworth, Blue Hill and beyond. Planning your trip does take some effort/knowledge of timetables. This is probably the least expensive route to go, but may be time consuming with the additional stops. Downeast Transportation operates the Island Explorer from late June to Columbus Day which will go to Bar Harbor Airport for free (plan additional time as the number of stops can lead to delays during peak periods).

Island Residents

If you can’t rope a friend into giving you a ride, try joining the Ride Share and Carpool MDI  Facebook group. Don’t forget, if you’re a senior, disabled or temporarily incapacitated Island Connections may also be able to help (and if you’re not, what about volunteering to drive for them?)

So yes, you can get to MDI without a car… and next post, we’ll show you how to get around without one too!



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