Department or Program

Environmental Studies


Lack of access to transportation services poses a significant barrier to socioeconomic mobility, a barrier that is disproportionately felt by low-income, already marginalized groups. Inaccessible, inequitable transportation directly affects the existing achievement gap between diverging socioeconomic populations, further reinforcing favoritism of white, upper-class populations and marginalization of the non-white, working class. Issues of spatial and thus socioeconomic mobility have been exacerbated by social migrations such as urban sprawl and political migrations such as those caused by housing crises. An individual or a family’s ability to maintain a reliable income as well as access to educational opportunities, health care, healthy food, and other necessities hinge upon the availability of transportation, especially in a geographic climate that favors individual, automotive travel. Although regional transportation systems often consist of unique combinations of providers--with some relying solely on public mechanisms, others on private contractors, and still others on some combination of the two--this research aims to synthesize the existing, fragmented transportation systems in Lewiston-Auburn and contextualize the goals and barriers faced by local stakeholders within international case studies and scholarly research.

This project was conducted in collaboration with the Bates College Environmental Studies Department, Community Concepts Inc., the Androscoggin Valley Council of Governments, the Lewiston-Auburn Transportation Committee, Western Maine Transportation Service, and a variety of Lewiston-Auburn community organizations (Appendix 1). Through consultations and interviews, entity goals and barriers were identified and possible pathways forward discussed. Through a locally distributed survey, community user goals and barriers to transportation were identified serving both to only prove a community need for improved service and provide further conclusions on existing user barriers to transportation. These potential pathways towards a more equitable system will be discussed after the: (1) contextualizing of Lewiston-Auburn's transportation system within the recognized frameworks of transportation equity and (re)municipalization of public resources, (2) grounding of data through results of consultations, interviews, and survey responses, and (3) analyzing the goals and barriers faced by the existing entities involved in transportation.

Level of Access

Restricted: Campus/Bates Community Only Access

First Advisor

Francis Eanes

Date of Graduation


Degree Name

Bachelor of Arts

Number of Pages


Community Engagement



Available to Bates community via local IP address or Bates login.