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Acadia Free Shuttles
Picture of Frenchman's Bay
New Ways to Explore Acadia


Q: Are pets allowed on the bus?
A. Well-behaved leashed or crated pets are welcome on buses, but not on the seats, and not on your lap on the seats. We have zero tolerance of ill-behaved pets. Please note: Purse-like pet carriers do not qualify as crates or leashes.

Q: Can the buses accommodate bicycles and how many?
A. All Island Explorer buses are equipped with bike racks. Most carry six bicycles; several carry four. We cannot accommodate tag-alongs, tandem bikes, or bikes with fat tires.

Q: Are strollers allowed on the bus?
A. Moderately-sized collapsible strollers are allowed on the buses. They must be folded up and carried to the back of the bus to be stowed.

Q: I am coming to Bar Harbor on a cruise ship, where and how do I get an Island Explorer shuttle?
A. Your ship will likely tender you to the Town Pier. The Village Green, Island Explorer's hub, is a short walk up Main Street. Come into our office there; we share it with Acadia National Park rangers. There you can purchase your park entry pass and learn how to use the bus system to see the area. Please note: On cruise ship days, particularly in the late afternoon when all passengers need to return to their ships at around the same time, demand can strain our capacity. Please plan accordingly to ensure you make it back for your ship's departure.

Q: How do I access the lost and found?
A. Come into our office at the Village Green or call (207) 288-4573.

Q: What do the R and - mean on the schedule?
A. R means the bus will stop at that location by request only. Just let the driver know you want to go there and he/she will take you there. A dash (-) means there is no stop at that location on that trip.

Q: Why do I need to purchase a park pass when the buses are free?
A. Island Explorer is not Acadia National Park. Everyone entering Acadia National Park whether by foot, bicycle, automobile, or bus is requered to have a park entry pass.

Q: Where do I get the Bicycle Express?
A. At the Bar Harbor Village Green or at Eagle Lake.

Q: Is Island Explorer a tour?
A. Island Explorer does not operate tours. There is no narration and buses do not tarry at bus stops. We are a transit system.

Q: What is Islalnd Explorer's operating season, days and hours of operation?
A. Island Explorer operates from June 23 through Columbus Day in October, with a reduction in service in late August. The service operates seven days per week. For information on individual routes' hours of operation, please check the timetables at

Q: Will the bus stop for me if I am not at a designated stop?
A. Our buses will stop anywhere along the route that the driver deems safe. Please choose a sopt with a good shoulder and good sight lines. Flag the bus with two hands. If you are on a bus and want to get off at a place other than a designated stop, please inform the driver when you board the bus. He/she will stop at the nearest safe place. Please note: Determination of a safe place is entirelly at the driver's discretion.

Q: How can I tell the difference between the summer and fall schedules?
A. In the fall, only the shaded times (times with color in the cell) in the timetable operate. In the summer, all times operate.

Q: Where can I park and take a bus into Bar Harbor?
A. There are always lots of free parking spots in the MDOT Park and Ride lot at the Acadia Gateway Center, 117 Gateway Center Drive, Trenton, ME 04605. There is a sheltered bus stop and the #9 Trenton route departs from there hourly through most of the day.

Q: Are buses accessible?
A. All buses are ADA compliant and equipped with cheelchair lifts. There are, however, some power lifts and specialized mobility devices we may not be able to accommodate. Our aim is to carry everyone regardless of ability.

Picture of buses along the Bar Harbor Village Green

The Island Explorer is operated by
Downeast Transportation
PO Box 914
Ellsworth, ME 04605
(207) 667-5796

For email inquiries, [email protected]