Cape Cod Is Finally Going To Town


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After a lapse of 25 years (not counting Amtrak’s Cape Codder during its last years in the mid-1990s), the public will be able to take the train from the Boston area to Hyannis on weekends between Memorial Day and Labor Day weekends.  Details on the new CapeFLYER service can be found at www.capeflyer.com, as well as the Facebook page https://www.facebook.com/Capeflyer

There are a couple of good articles in the WIKI too

https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/CapeFLYER
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Cape_Cod_Central_Railroad

The train will depart South Station Fridays at 5.12 p.m., making all regular commuter rail stops down to Middleborough/Lakeville before continuing on the Buzzards Bay and Hyannis.  The return trip leaves Hyannis at 8.30 p.m. Fridays.  On Saturdays, Sundays and holidays (Memorial Day, Fourth of July, Labor Day) trains depart South Station at 8 a.m., with the return trip leaving Hyannis at 6.30 p.m.  The Saturday, Sunday and holiday trips will have limited stops between Boston and Middleborough/Lakeville.

The train will consist entirely of Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority commuter rail equipment.  One car, BTC-1C class single-level coach #224, has been reconfigured into a bike and concession car, with limited seating.  Passengers will be able to purchase food (snacks and wraps) and drinks, including I am told beer and wine when east of Middleborough.

The Cape Cod Regional Transit Authority has organized this new service, working with the state, the MBTA, ferry lines and private bus lines.  Coordinated, connecting bus and ferry services will be offered at both Buzzards Bay and Hyannis.

Hopefully this new service will be successful.

The New York Times just published the following article on line about the CapeFLYER.  Based on what I’ve heard, this looks to be about the most accurate media account of the service so far.

http://www.nytimes.com/2013/05/27/us/capeflyer-begins-train-service-from-boston-to-hyannis.html?_r=0

Both the Boston Globe and Wareham Week report the CapeFLYER had 770 passengers this first weekend, according to the Cape Cod Regional Transit Authority.
According to the Boston Globe, if ridership is strong through the summer, the MBTA would consider continuing the train into October:
“The CapeFlyer, the MBTA’s revival of the Boston-to-Cape-Cod rail tradition, has just begun service this weekend, but Beverly A. Scott, general manager of the MBTA, is already considering extending the service past its scheduled Labor Day closing date if it garners enough popularity.

““There is a possibility that service could be extended through October if the demand is evident,” Scott said at a MassDOT meeting last week. “”

Here is a link to the MBTA website with a video of the first weekend of service, enjoy!!!

http://capeflyer.com/#sthash.q4JJ5Prw.dpbs

From the July 1st Cape Codder newspaper (http://www.wickedlocal.com/brewster/news/x273426890/Transit-talk-Boston-Cape-train-a-hit-bus-ridership-up#axzz2Y5uM7ykA):

“There are six trains a weekend,” Cahir said. “This past weekend we had 714 riders. It’s really been an extraordinary story. It allows people to get to the Cape without cars and I’m very pleased with that. The numbers are overwhelming.”

All told over the first five weekends it’s carried 3,200 passengers. The breakeven point is $10,800 in fares each week and so far the Flyer has exceeded that with over $67,000 in revenue.

The CCRTA has budgeted $162,000 to front the operating costs of the train for 15 weekends between Memorial Day and Labor Day weekend.  As reported above, $67,000 has been recovered during the first five weekends, so revenue is well ahead of projections.  The CCRTA had expected the train would operate at a loss during late May and June, with revenues being made up during higher ridership in July and August, so the ridership so far has been a very pleasant surprise.

Excluding the third weekend, when the weather forecast was terrible for the Cape, the six weekend trains have averaged ridership around a bit more than 700 passengers.  During the third weekend, ridership was only 352 — still enough to cover operating costs that weekend.

The best news so far:  last night’s train from South Station to Hyannis had 589 passengers, per the CapeFLYER’s Facebook page and other sources.

Word is the CapeFLYER left Hyannis this evening with 609 passengers.  No word so far on how many passengers were picked up at Buzzards Bay.

Traffic reports according to the Cape Cod Times state traffic was backed up as far as 25 miles on the Mid-Cape Highway (U.S. Route 6)  east of the Sagamore Bridge during the height of the backup mid-afternoon today.

4TH of July Weekend

“And, Cape Cod Regional Transit Authority Administrator Thomas Cahir said the weekend traffic was a great advertisement for the CapeFLYER, the new summer train service from Boston to Hyannis.
There were more than 2,000 riders on the trains that ran from Wednesday through Sunday, Cahir said.”  — Cape Cod Times
, 8 July 2013.http://www.capecodonline.com/apps/pbcs.dll/article?AID=/20130708/NEWS11/130709691

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