Hitchiking in Maine, US, is fairly simple. Most drivers will stop for you, even in "No hitchhiking zones" which are generally along large interstates (such as I-95). There are "No hitchhikers" signs posted just past some of the on-ramps, so be sure to stand a good distance in front of them, as to not intimidate drivers. Thumbing the on-ramps to these freeways is legal, and hitchhiker Amylin waited no more than 5 minutes at most of the on-ramps to I-95 South on a clear day in November.
From the airport
Getting a ride from the Portland, ME International Airport (PWM) is fairly simple, since there is only one road to exit the airport: Jetport Blvd. If you walk backwards along this road with your thumb out, you have a fairly good chance of getting a ride. There is also a pick-up/drop-off spot just outside the exit, where people often wait for Taxis and car rides. There is also a local bus that stops at this spot that will bring you downtown. You might get a ride by talking to the people waiting here, as well. Often times, they can be friendly.
If you are heading North out of Portland, there are two awkward places to get on I295-N. It is often better to forgo these options. Take the city bus, route 7, to Falmouth and get off on the last stop. The ramp to I295-N is 1/4 mile from the bus stop. There is less traffic there than in Portland, but the flow is still steady and there is more room to pull over. It generally take less than 20 minutes to catch a ride.
Bar Harbor and neighboring Acadia National Park, one of the most likely destinations for anyone visiting Maine, has a comprehensive, free bus service all around the island, and into Ellsworth on the mainland where a long-distance ride can be more easily caught.
Title 29-A 2110 Hitchhiking Forbidden
- 1. Definition. As used in this section, "hitchhike" means to endeavor by words, gestures or otherwise to beg, invite or secure transportation in a motor vehicle not engaged in carrying passengers for hire, unless the hitchhiker is known to the driver or a passenger.
- 2. Violation. A person commits a traffic infraction if that person hitchhikes on:
- (a) The traveled portion of a public way
- (b) A limited access highway, including but not limited to the Maine Turnpike; or
- (c) Any portion of a public way during the nighttime.
- 5. Posting. An area in which hitchhiking has been regulated or prohibited must be clearly identified by posted signs.
- 6. Forfeitures. For a violation of subsection 2, a forfeiture not to exceed $50 may be adjudged.
It could be said that Maine has the most vague and bizarre hitchhiking laws of any state in America. To further complicate the issue, Maine does not seem to define the term "limited access highway" which can be interpreted many different ways based on other states' definitions of the term. The most common legal definition seems to be: "Limited Access Highway" a highway or street especially designed or designated for through traffic, and over, from, or to which owners or occupants of abutting land, or other persons, have no right or easement, or only a limited right or easement of access, light, air, or view by reason of the fact that their property abuts upon such limited access facility, or for any other reason to accomplish the purpose of a limited access facility. Such highways or streets may be parkways, from which vehicles forming part of an urban public transportation system, trucks, buses, or other commercial vehicles may be excluded; or they may be freeways open to use by all customary forms of street and highway traffic, including vehicles forming a part of an urban public transportation system.
Note:All land owned by the National Park service prohibits hitchhiking under the Code of Federal Regulations Title 36 section 4.31: Hitchhiking or soliciting transportation is prohibited except in designated areas and under conditions established by the superintendent.
- Acadia National Park
Hitchhiking is permitted under the terms and conditions accorded in Maine State Law 2110
"Thumbed all around Maine. Very easy and friendly. Longest had to wait was an hour to get a ride. Bar Harbor area was the hardest for hitching due to high volume of tourist." --Tonypro 17:50, 3 February 2012 (CET)
Hitched through Maine once along US-2 and I-95 on my way to Canada. Rides came quickly and without effort. The attitude of the locals and the climate reminded me a lot of northern California. Border crossing took 5 hours of interrogation and harassment, but that is Canada's fault, not Maine's. A police officer once stopped me from hitchhiking at night, but they seemed to have no problem with it during the day. Thewindandrain (talk) 23:53, 1 June 2013 (CEST)
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