The Star-Herald

NMCC wants to use minibus to connect campus, community

PRESQUE ISLE, Maine — This month Northern Maine Community College received a mini passenger bus as a donation from the discontinued local transportation organization, PI Loop. 

The 16-passenger vehicle, which will be wrapped in the college’s colors and logo, will serve multiple purposes on campus and in the greater Aroostook community.

“We’re immensely appreciative to receive this piece of equipment. Several departments on campus will benefit from the bus in terms of training, as well as group transportation,” said NMCC President Tim Crowley.

NMCC currently offers nursing courses in Houlton, and historically, students have carpooled and caravanned between locations. The new bus will allow students to travel together while maintaining social distancing, with both the students and the college saving money. During winter months, the buses will help keep students off the road during hazardous weather conditions.

Throughout the year, entire classes or organized groups of students travel to businesses within the county and beyond to get first-hand experience in their field; additionally, students living on campus travel en masse to donate time to a local charitable cause each fall. Having a bus available reduces the barriers and amount of coordination for these types of trips.

The distinct model of bus also allows students to train towards their Class B license, and may enhance the capabilities of the Commercial Driving Academy and other related trade departments on campus.

Beyond campus, President Crowley discussed working with the University of Maine at Presque Isle and local hospitals to see how the vehicle can support their organizations. 

“While the bus will live on the NMCC campus, we’d like to find ways to support the needs of the community. That was the original intent of this gift, and we’ll work to preserve and uphold that,” Crowley said.

For more information about Northern Maine Community College, or their programs related to transportation, please visit nmcc.edu.

Submitted by the Development and College Relations Office of Northern Maine Community College.

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