- Mar 20, 2009
- Reaction score
Boston to Cape rail service will include Buzzards Bay stop
MBTA passenger rail service will run from Memorial Day weekend to Labor Day
BUZZARDS BAY —
Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority weekend train service from Boston’s South Station to Hyannis - via a stop in Buzzards Bay - will start May 24 and continue to Labor Day.
Cape Cod Regional Transit Authority Administrator Thomas Cahir said late Monday afternoon the return of passenger rail service to the Cape – after nearly a 25-year absence - will involve five weekend trips and possibly a sixth return trip to Boston on Monday morning.
Cahir told the Bourne Transportation Advisory Committee that Gov. Deval Patrick has approved passenger rail resumption, and a name for the restored service likely would be selected Wednesday.
Cahir said the service needs 635 weekend riders to prove fiscally viable. He said the trains would include two bicycle cars. The overall idea, however, is tap dollars in the Boston market and attract visitors to Cape Cod as well as others to ride the train and thus avoid traffic backups at the canal bridges.
Passenger rail restoration to the Cape has proved to be an on-again/off-again experience over the past several decades. The last service was the Cape Codder in 1989; it was short-lived.
A weekend round-trip ticket will cost $30. The service will be widely marketed, Cahir said, and the Buzzards Bay stop will be coordinated with the Army Corps of Engineers. He said the weekend trains would be coordinated with the dinner trains and regional trash service that rule the rails now.
There will be passenger coordination in Hyannis for riders headed to island ferries and destinations down-Cape.
“This train is exciting,” Cahir said. “But the MBTA is not expanding; it still has deficit concerns. This will be somewhat similar to the Patriots/MBTA train. This is not high-speed commuter rail service. This is five trains a week over the weekends.”
Trains bound for the Cape will depart South Station at 5:10 p.m. on Fridays for stops at Lakeville and Buzzards Bay. The Saturday and Sunday departure times in Boston are set for 8 a.m.
Bourne Administrator Thomas Guerino said the rail service could prove valuable in that it could be marketed in conjunction with the planned 2014 festivities celebrating the Cape Cod Canal centennial observance.
Bourne Police Chief Dennis Woodside said a train could be safely accommodated if the Buzzards Bay stops at Main Street are consigned to three-to-five minute intervals; and not blocking Academy Drive longer than that.
Canal Region Chamber of Commerce Director Marie Oliva said Buzzards Bay parking issues or tangles that evolve near the restored Main Street rail station could easily be resolved. Cahir said he remains convinced visitors and others would embrace travel to the Cape by train if they can be assured it is reliable, dependable and clean; and especially if their need to get around without a vehicle once they reach Hyannis is accommodated.
“This is another option for those who want to come down to the Cape,” he said. “To spend their money without their cars; no congestions at the bridges. And it should bring some economic benefits to the community.”
There will be no MBTA cherry-sheet assessment charged to Bourne for the Buzzards Bay stop, Cahir said.