Due to the Covid virus, we are limiting the number of riders on all buses to allow for safer distancing.

Service Updates

Maps and timetables on this site were updated for 2021 on March 17, 2021.

Small map of Island Explorer bus routes

The Island Explorer features bus routes linking hotels, inns, and campgrounds with destinations in Acadia National Park and neighboring village centers. Clean propane-powered vehicles offer Mount Desert Island visitors and residents free transportation to hiking trails, carriage roads, island beaches, and in-town shops and restaurants.

DUE TO THE COVID VIRUS, ONLY SELECTED ROUTES WILL OPERATE IN 2021. WE HOPE TO RESTORE FULL SERVICE IN 2022.

The 2021 Service Plan

Because of the continued threat of Covid-19 and the need to maintain strict social distancing, Downeast Transportation has suspended service for 2021 on several community bus routes.

Social distancing drastically reduces the number of people we can allow on each bus. We know that to ensure customer satisfaction, we need to increase the frequency of service. That way if one bus is full, passengers won't have to wait long for the next one.

We do not have enough buses or drivers to offer frequent service on all routes. We cannot ask passengers who are turned away to wait 30 or 60 minutes for their next bus, especially when there is a good chance that the next bus will also be full.

For schedule information about buses that will operate in 2021, go to the Route Finder for information about routes 2, 3, 4, 5, and 8.

Our commitment to serving all of our island towns remains strong. We appreciate the patience and understanding we have received from people negatively impacted by this temporary service re-design.

2021 Service Calendar

The Island Explorer operates on Mount Desert Island June 23 through October 11, 2021. Fall service begins August 25, 2021.

On Schoodic Peninsula, spring service begins on May 26, summer service begins on June 23, and fall service operates August 25 through October 11.

Village Green photo

"A wonderful service. Best way to get around. Fun to ride. Happy drivers."
-Island Explorer passenger from Texas

"Using the bus really helped us to see and visit a lot more of the island. "
-Acadia National Park visitor from England

"This makes the week a real vacation."
-Island Explorer passenger from Massachusetts

"Free is the way to be. I like your bus service."
-Island Explorer passenger from Franklin, Maine