Skip to Navigation Skip to Content
Start Date: 2020
Completion Date: 2021

The Cape Rail Study evaluated potential year-round passenger rail to the Cape Cod region, approximately 50 miles south of Boston, providing data and information about projected ridership, auto usage, and emissions, and costs.  The study, led by the Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) with technical support and guidance from the Cape Cod Commission, considered the options for expanding passenger rail service to Cape Cod with connections to Middleborough, Wareham, and beyond. 

Extending just beyond the Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority’s (MBTA’s) existing commuter rail network, the rail connection could enhance public transportation options to the region and provide opportunities for economic development.

The Cape Rail Study considered two alternatives that were developed cooperatively with the Advisory Group, which consisted of elected officials and representatives from the Towns of Bourne, Wareham, and Middleborough; representatives of local interest groups; and representatives of regional agencies and organizations. Each alternative included a range of options that allowed MassDOT and the MBTA to test the benefits and tradeoffs of different service components.

While this study provides a foundation for potential future rail service to the Cape Cod region, there are additional systemwide changes and other factors that could affect and inform potential future implementation. Developing a plan for the O&M of a potential future Cape rail service and identifying funding sources and opportunities are critical next steps towards implementation.

   View the Cape Rail Study Final Report

 

 

Outreach

Outreach for the project included two advisory group meetings with opportunities for members of the public to provide comments during the meetings or by contacting the study team via email or phone.

The first Advisory Group meeting for the Cape Rail Study was held on November 19, 2020 to discuss the context for the study, to describe existing conditions, and to develop the purpose, need, and potential alternatives for the analysis. Feedback received through this meeting provided context for the project team to establish an Alternatives Framework that identifies goals and objectives, proposed service alternatives, and a framework for results.

A second Advisory Group meeting for the Cape Rail Study was held on June 9, 2021. The meeting included discussion of the two alternatives identified in the Alternatives Framework including, ridership estimates, order of magnitude cost estimates, and potential project benefits.

The Final Report was presented at the Cape Cod Metropolitan Planning Organization Meeting on November 15, 2021.

Contacts

Project Resources

View All Resources

3M pdf
Nov 20, 2020
Cape Rail Study Advisory Group Meeting Presentation - 2020-11-19
Advisory Group Meeting #1 November 19, 2020 | 5:30 P.M. If anyone is having a technical issue, use either the chat box on your screen or call (508) 744-1261 and staff will assist you. Meeting Announcements  This meeting is being held virtually as allowed by Governor Baker’s Executive Order Suspending certain provisions of the Open Meeting Law dated March 12, 2020.  If anyone is having a technical issue, use either the chat box on your screen or call (508) 744-1261 and staff will assist you.  This meeting is being recorded. The video will be made available on the project website. Please raise your hand now to notify the chair if you are also recording this meeting.  Meeting materials, including today’s presentation, may be accessed at www.capecodcommission.org/CapeRailStudy. * AGENDA PROGRESS 1. Introductions 2. Project Background 3. Goals and Objectives Discussion 4. Service Alternatives Discussion 5. Next Steps 6. Public Comment If anyone is having a technical issue, use either the chat box on your screen or call (508) 744-1261 and staff will assist you. Meeting Announcements  Participants wishing to speak should click “Participants” icon on the lower toolbar and then click “Raise Hand” in the dialog box to notify the chair. Telephone participants should press *9 to indicate that they wish to speak. Telephone participants may unmute themselves by pressing *6 when they are invited to speak.  Participants may also use the chat box to provide written comments or feedback during select portions of the agenda.  Members of the public are asked to kindly hold comments until the ‘Public Comment’ agenda item. * AGENDA PROGRESS 1. Introductions 2. Project Background 3. Goals and Objectives Discussion 4. Service Alternatives Discussion 5. Next Steps 6. Public Comment If anyone is having a technical issue, use either the chat box on your screen or call (508) 744-1261 and staff will assist you. Welcome * AGENDA PROGRESS 1. Introductions 2. Project Background 3. Goals and Objectives Discussion 4. Service Alternatives Discussion 5. Next Steps 6. Public Comment If anyone is having a technical issue, use either the chat box on your screen or call (508) 744-1261 and staff will assist you. Roles  MassDOT/VHB  Cape Cod Metropolitan Planning Organization  Cape Cod Commission staff  Advisory Group * AGENDA PROGRESS 1. Introductions 2. Project Background 3. Goals and Objectives Discussion 4. Service Alternatives Discussion 5. Next Steps 6. Public Comment If anyone is having a technical issue, use either the chat box on your screen or call (508) 744-1261 and staff will assist you. Representation on the Advisory Group  Regional Elected Officials  Town of Bourne  Elected Officials, Administration, Professional Staff, Police Department, Fire Department, Advisory Committee on Pedestrian Bicycle Pathway  Town of Wareham  Town of Middleborough  Cape Cod Regional Transit Authority (CCRTA)  Cape Cod Commission  Canal Area Chamber of Commerce  Massachusetts Maritime Academy  Buzzards Bay Businesses and Residents  Friends of Bourne Rail Trail  MassCoastal  Army Corp of Engineers  Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority (MBTA) * AGENDA PROGRESS 1. Introductions 2. Project Background 3. Goals and Objectives Discussion 4. Service Alternatives Discussion 5. Next Steps 6. Public Comment If anyone is having a technical issue, use either the chat box on your screen or call (508) 744-1261 and staff will assist you. Opening Remarks * AGENDA PROGRESS 1. Introductions 2. Project Background 3. Goals and Objectives Discussion 4. Service Alternatives Discussion 5. Next Steps 6. Public Comment If anyone is having a technical issue, use either the chat box on your screen or call (508) 744-1261 and staff will assist you. * 1. Introductions 2. Project Background 3. Goals and Objectives Discussion 4. Service Alternatives Discussion 5. Next Steps 6. Public Comment If anyone is having a technical issue, use either the chat box on your screen or call (508) 744-1261 and staff will assist you. AGENDA PROGRESS 8 11/19/2020 * 1. Introductions 2. Project Background 3. Goals and Objectives Discussion 4. Service Alternatives Discussion 5. Next Steps 6. Public Comment If anyone is having a technical issue, use either the chat box on your screen or call (508) 744-1261 and staff will assist you. AGENDA PROGRESS 9 11/19/2020 * 1. Introductions 2. Project Background 3. Goals and Objectives Discussion 4. Service Alternatives Discussion 5. Next Steps 6. Public Comment If anyone is having a technical issue, use either the chat box on your screen or call (508) 744-1261 and staff will assist you. AGENDA PROGRESS 10 11/19/2020 * 1. Introductions 2. Project Background 3. Goals and Objectives Discussion 4. Service Alternatives Discussion 5. Next Steps 6. Public Comment If anyone is having a technical issue, use either the chat box on your screen or call (508) 744-1261 and staff will assist you. AGENDA PROGRESS 11 11/19/2020 * 1. Introductions 2. Project Background 3. Goals and Objectives Discussion 4. Service Alternatives Discussion 5. Next Steps 6. Public Comment If anyone is having a technical issue, use either the chat box on your screen or call (508) 744-1261 and staff will assist you. AGENDA PROGRESS 12 11/19/2020 * 1. Introductions 2. Project Background 3. Goals and Objectives Discussion 4. Service Alternatives Discussion 5. Next Steps 6. Public Comment If anyone is having a technical issue, use either the chat box on your screen or call (508) 744-1261 and staff will assist you. AGENDA PROGRESS 13 11/19/2020 * 1. Introductions 2. Project Background 3. Goals and Objectives Discussion 4. Service Alternatives Discussion 5. Next Steps 6. Public Comment If anyone is having a technical issue, use either the chat box on your screen or call (508) 744-1261 and staff will assist you. AGENDA PROGRESS 14 11/19/2020 *Note: Polling results will be used for data gathering and informational purposes only. * 1. Introductions 2. Project Background 3. Goals and Objectives Discussion 4. Service Alternatives Discussion 5. Next Steps 6. Public Comment If anyone is having a technical issue, use either the chat box on your screen or call (508) 744-1261 and staff will assist you. AGENDA PROGRESS 15 11/19/2020 * 1. Introductions 2. Project Background 3. Goals and Objectives Discussion 4. Service Alternatives Discussion 5. Next Steps 6. Public Comment If anyone is having a technical issue, use either the chat box on your screen or call (508) 744-1261 and staff will assist you. AGENDA PROGRESS 16 11/19/2020 Public Comment  Members from the public wishing to speak should click “Participants” icon on the lower toolbar and then click “Raise Hand” in the dialog box to notify the chair.  Telephone participants should press *9 to indicate that they wish to speak. Telephone participants may unmute themselves by pressing *6 when they are invited to speak.  Please be respectful with your comments.  You may also submit comments at any time via email. Additional information is available at: www.capecodcommission.org/CapeRailStudy * AGENDA PROGRESS 1. Introductions 2. Project Background 3. Goals and Objectives Discussion 4. Service Alternatives Discussion 5. Next Steps 6. Public Comment If anyone is having a technical issue, use either the chat box on your screen or call (508) 744-1261 and staff will assist you. * 1. Introductions 2. Project Background 3. Goals and Objectives Discussion 4. Service Alternatives Discussion 5. Next Steps 6. Public Comment If anyone is having a technical issue, use either the chat box on your screen or call (508) 744-1261 and staff will assist you. AGENDA PROGRESS 18 11/19/2020
161K pdf
Jun 07, 2021
2021-06-09 Cape Rail Study Advisory Group Revised Agenda
NOTICE: To view the posting date/time and materials related to agenda items, please visit the Cape Cod Metropolitan Planning Organization’s official posting location at www.capecodcommission.org/meetingnotices This meeting is accessible to people with disabilities. The Cape Cod Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) provides reasonable accommodations and/or language assistance free of charge upon request (including but not limited to interpreters in American Sign Language and languages other than English, assistive listening devices and alternate material formats, such as audio tapes, Braille and large print, as available). For accommodations or language assistance please contact the Cape Cod MPO by phone: (508) 362-3828, fax (508) 362-3136, Telecommunications Relay Services (TRS), dial 711 or email frontdesk@capecodcommission.org. Title VI Notice of Nondiscrimination: The Cape Cod MPO complies with Title VI of the Civil Rights Act of 1964 and related federal and state statutes and regulations. It is the policy of the Cape Cod MPO to ensure that no person or group of persons shall on the grounds of Title VI protected categories, including race, color, national origin, or under additional federal and state protected categories including sex, age, disability, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, religion, creed, ancestry, veteran's status (including Vietnam-era veterans), or background, be excluded from participation in, be denied the benefits of, or be otherwise subjected to discrimination under any program or activity administered by the Cape Cod MPO. To request additional information about this commitment, or to file a complaint under Title VI or a related nondiscrimination provision, please contact the MPO’s Title VI Coordinator by phone at (508)3623828, Telecommunications Relay Services (TRS), dial 711, fax (508) 362-3136 or by e-mail at mhevenor@capecodcommission.org. If this information is needed in another language, please contact the MPO’s Title VI Coordinator by phone at (508)362-3828. Caso estas informações sejam necessárias em outro idioma, por favor, contate o Coordenador de Título VI da MPO pelo telefone 508744-1299. The public discussion of the Transportation Improvement Plan (TIP) at CCJTC, MPO, and transportation meetings satisfies the Program of Projects (POP) public hearing requirements of the Federal Transit Administration (FTA). Cape Rail Study: Advisory Group Meeting 2 Revised Agenda DATE: Wednesday, June 9, 2021 TIME: 5:30 p.m. PLACE: Virtual Meeting - Access Online or Via Phone Join the meeting using one of the following methods:  • By clicking on the following link: https://capecodcommission.org/outreach/join • Calling in to (929) 205-6099 and entering meeting ID 932 6393 2207. Please join the virtual meeting at least five minutes before the start of the meeting and call (508)744-1227 if you have any issues joining. Additional project information and meeting materials are available at www.capecodcommission.org/CapeRailStudy 1. Introductions: Cape Cod Commission staff will introduce Advisory Group members, Massachusetts Department of Transportation (MassDOT) staff, and the consultant team from Vanasse Hangen Brustlin, Inc. 2. Alternatives Framework: The Cape Rail Study is evaluating the potential for extending year
1M pdf
Apr 14, 2021
Cape Rail - Alternatives Framework - March 2021
Proposed Alternatives Framework March 2021 Background  Feedback received through the Advisory Group meeting on November 19, 2020 provided context for the project team to identify:  Goals and objectives  Proposed service alternatives  Framework for results  The following slides provide more detail on each of these topics AGENDA PROGRESS 1. Goals and Objectives 2. Service Alternatives 3. Results Framework Proposed Goals and Objectives  Provide safe and reliable public transportation options to, from, and within the Cape and surrounding areas  Reduce automobile usage and greenhouse gas emissions  Support and strengthen opportunities for economic growth, transit-oriented development, and access to employment in the Boston region for commuters and occasional riders * AGENDA PROGRESS 1. Goals and Objectives 2. Service Alternatives 3. Results Framework * Feedback on Service Alternatives  Feedback from the Advisory Group included:  Both commuter and recreational service is important to area stakeholders  Service should meet the MBTA Service Delivery Policy frequency standards at a minimum  Varying opinions on terminals, including Canal-area terminals (Buzzards Bay and Bourne), and Hyannis  While offering trips without transfers would be preferred, it is not a priority compared to other service variables  The Advisory Group also indicated an interest in considering a range of alternatives AGENDA PROGRESS 1. Goals and Objectives 2. Service Alternatives 3. Results Framework * Service Alternatives Development  The development of two service alternatives incorporates feedback from Advisory Group  Proposed service alternatives have a range of options across variables, in order to test benefits and impacts of different service components including:  Trip purpose  Trip time (e.g., peak, off-peak)  Station locations  Southern terminal location  Trip frequency  Transfers AGENDA PROGRESS 1. Goals and Objectives 2. Service Alternatives 3. Results Framework Overview of Service Alternatives * AGENDA PROGRESS 1. Goals and Objectives 2. Service Alternatives 3. Results Framework Alternative 1 Alternative 2 Purpose Commuter Commuter + Recreational Day/Time Weekday (Peak-Focused)* Weekday* Locations Existing Stations Existing Stations Terminals Buzzards Bay (North of Canal) Bourne (South of Canal) Frequency Frequency consistent with MBTA Service Delivery Policy Higher Frequency (Off-Peak, Reverse) Transfers One Transfer on All Trips No Transfers on Selected Trips (Outside of Normal Weekday Operations) *Note: Both alternatives assume continuation of Cape Flyer service on weekends. * Alternative 1  Provides weekday service focused on peak commuting at frequency consistent with MBTA Service Delivery Policy  All trips are between Buzzards Bay and Middleborough, with timed transfer to/from MBTA commuter rail service AGENDA PROGRESS 1. Goals and Objectives 2. Service Alternatives 3. Results Framework * Alternative 2  Compared to Alternative 1, Alternative 2 adds service:  South of the Canal, to Bourne station  In the off-peak and reverse direction to better serve non-commute trips  Directly to/from Boston on selected trips outside of normal weekday operations* AGENDA PROGRESS 1. Goals and Objectives 2. Service Alternatives 3. Results Framework *Note: Trips without a transfer are most likely to be before the start of typical Commuter Rail service and after the end of typical Commuter Rail service to avoid conflicts with other scheduled trips. Results Framework  The study will produce results for each alternative for:  Projected Ridership  Change in Emissions  Estimated Travel Time  Change in Access to Jobs  Order-of-Magnitude Operating Costs  Order-of-Magnitude Capital Costs * AGENDA PROGRESS 1. Goals and Objectives 2. Service Alternatives 3. Results Framework Notes: Narrative will include discussion on comfort and fares. Fares will be included as an input into the analysis. Ridership projections will assume parking is unconstrained, which will provide information about the potential demand for additional parking.
Search Circle Icon Search Icon Document Icon Video Icon PDF Icon CSV/XLS Icon